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Terrifying Fear of Getting HIV from HIV Test
Apr 27, 2011

Dr. Frascino this is a very serious question and I have become terrified and I need your expert advice. It all started a week ago when I went to an STD clinic and got a Oral Rapid HIV test. I decided to get an HIV test done since it has been recommended all sexual active people get the test. The lady that administered it to me did not wear any gloves when she took it out of the package. She then handed me the device and I swapped my mouth with it. At no point did she wear any gloves, even when she took the device back from me to have it tested. The results came back negative and I was quite happy. The lady then told me they had only one positive test result not too long ago. I then noticed later that evening that my gums were sore and I had small cuts on them, which I believe was from using the device too hard against my gums. This is where my anxiety stepped in and where I need your expertise. I apologize about all the questions but I can't seem to find the answers.

1. Why aren't healthcare workers required to wear gloves when dealing with the Oral Rapid Test?

2. If somehow she had gotten her blood on the collection pad and I swabbed my mouth with it, would the test have been able to detect the HIV in the theoretically placed blood on the collection device or would the test not have been able to detect it because it only tests oral fluid?

3. I am assuming she did not wear gloves when she tested the previous man that was HIV +. Could she have contracted it through him by his oral fluid or possible bleeding gums?

4. I became so paranoid that I called back the clinic and I asked the lady if she was HIV +. She paused for a few seconds and then said no. Are healthcare workers required to inform you if they are HIV + if you ask them?

5. Was I at any risk from contracting HIV through this test?I did have cuts on my gums that I saw later and I am afraid somehow blood got in them.

6. Have there ever been any documented cases where someone contracted HIV through the Oral Rapid Test?

7. Would you recommend that I get another test done in 3-6 months just to be sure?

Dr. Frascino I apologize about all the questions but somehow my mind took something good like a negative HIV result and turned it into the worst case scenario. I am seeing a therapist this week because I know it is OCD and I am afraid that if I go get another test then I won't stop.

Thank you for your time and for this wonderful resource site.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Dear Sir, This forum is dedicated to HIV-positive folks, particularly those who have concerns related to fatigue and/or anemia. Questions related to HIV transmission, prevention, safer sex, HIV testing and risk should be sent to Dr. Bob at his "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" expert forum. Please resubmit your question there using the same title and add the phrase, "resubmitted form the Fatigue and Anemia Forum." Thank you.

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