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Please e-mail me!!
Aug 24, 2001

Dear Dr. Frascino, I just don't get an answer from the Safe Sex Forum. I wrote to you with the question of eye rubbing, remember("Worried again")? Would you please E-MAIL me and tell me whether or not there is a "realistic" risk of getting infected by rubbing my eye a few moments after rubbing a girl's vagina through her wet underwear? I understand that there are mucous membranes in the eye. Could it be that I, while rubbing my closed eye, touched the mucous membranes? If I took out my contact lenses without washing my hands before, about 20-30 minutes after touching her, after walking home, putting on and off some clothes, handling different things, would any HIV already be dried or dead? Anyway, I am not sure if I rubbed my eye at all, it was back in April and came to my mind a few weeks ago, so it's hard to remember. It's hard to assess the risk by myself and I just don't get an answer from Ryan Kull in his Safe Sex Forum. The weeks are passing by and I am still waiting for a response. The girl I was with (university student) says she doesn't have any STD and doesn't get herself in situations where she could easily pick up one. I don't want to get tested if there is not a realistic risk because I would drive myself into testing after each future sexual encounter again... Please answer me briefly via e-mail if you would worry in my case, so you don't have to post it in the Fatigue Forum!! THANK YOU!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again Worried Again,

OK, at least you tried to get an answer from the Safe Sex Forum. All the worried-well questions may be overloading the system at that site! Since I broke the rules and answered your first set of questions, I'll just consider this reply part of that one, OK? But other "worried wells" and "am I infecteds," please note that I cannot answer your questions on this forum. It's dedicated exclusively to HIV-related fatigue and anemia. Thanks for your understanding! Now "Mr. Worried Well Again", I think you already know the answer to your question. You doubt your partner is HIV infected, your activities were by and large very "safe," and now the possibility of contracting HIV by taking your contact lenses out without washing your hands 30 minutes after touching wet underwear? My response is the same as last time - Stop worrying! This action does not constitute a significant risk of infection. I really think you would benefit from speaking to a knowledgeable counselor about your ongoing and unjustified worries about sex. HIV is not all that easy to contract; otherwise, everyone on the planet would have it by now. For instance, even in the situation in which I was infected, a hollow-bore needle stick and laceration while performing a procedure on a patient with advanced-stage AIDS, the risk of contracting HIV is in the range of 1 actual HIV infection for every 300 such exposures. That's not to say it never happens. Obviously, it does. It happened to me. I just want you to realize that in general HIV is not all that easy to contract, especially if you use safer sexual techniques. Considering your level of concern, counseling may be your best means to eventually having a fulfilling sexual life.

Good luck. And this will be my "final answer" to your inquiries.

Dr. Bob


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