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Thalassemia response
Sep 13, 2001

You were so kind to answer my question about Thalassemia and its effect on serology tests that I thought I might as well really take advantage...;) See what happens when you do a nice thing?..;) you said you wouldn't ask about the non-sexual blood exposure...now I need to tell!

It was simple: We have a friend who is a PWA. On his birthday I went to his apt to give him a gift. He has a parrot. He took the parrot out of the cage to show me and decided to flip the parrot over. The parrot was not pleased and started to thrash around on his fingers. It fell off and flew right onto the open part of my chest where the shirt was open where it proceeded to draw blood in several places. I didn't want to make a scene or make my friend feel like he's a biohazard...but I was freaked. I called him the next day and explained my fear and he claimed he looked at his finger and had nothing significant...meaning no blood. He was concerned that even though there was no blood that a scraped off "skin cell" could infect me. I'm married and have a nursing daughter so you can imagine this has been hard on everyone. I would have let it go except when we called the emergency room the doc told me "yes" I could be infected that way, thus the terror began...for everyone. To make it worse I got a terrible head cold 4 days later and a light rash on my arms and belly that lasted only one day. The rash was small and only about 2 inches in circumference in all three areas. I also go wired red areas on the edges of my tongue with white borders. My wife thinks it was all stress since I grind my teeth and that I was making the spots with my teeth...the cold was just a cold...she had one the week before...and the rash was because of our visit to the zoo and the change of seasons....my wife is the ultimate optimist. After these symptoms subsided I waited 3 weeks, 5 weeks total since my exposure and got a PCR DNA test...I was told to move on with my life...I don't know what to do. I'd like to believe the test, but since my gums bleed when I brush (from my Thalasemia) every time I kiss my wife I worry. Now she's got the flu and it isn't even flu season.

That's my story...thanks for listening...it means a lot to me.

Peace

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again,

An emergency room doctor told you that you could get HIV from a pissed-off parrot carrying a possible scraped-off "skin cell?" And you have a negative HIV PCR at 5 weeks. I'd have to say that ER doctor is a birdbrain for having worried you. You're negative. Now, give Polly a cracker and stop worrying.

Dr. Bob


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