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For Dr. Cohen re: 1996 response
Aug 22, 2003

Hi Doc, I realize this is not your area for the site...but I must ask as I am slowly becomming an alcoholic to deal with the anxiety. I suffer from irritation around the anus due to hemmoroids, anal fissures etc. To keep myself clean, aftr flushing the toilet twice, I splash water from the toilet bowl up on my anus to clean. Is this a possible route or dangerous for HIV? I am sure I cant be the only one doing this...

In '96 you responded to there being no threat touching toilet water (flushed) is that still the case. Thank you so much for your response. I am beginning to wonder if HIV anxiety is worse than the disease at times..

Response from Dr. Cohen

So - there is no risk of contracting HIV from water on skin. Though I am not sure I understand why you'd want to use water from the toilet - flushed twice or more often - to clean yourself. How about water from the sink? Or why not just buy some Tucks pads - or some other brand of wipes to use to clean oneself? Seems just a bit more sanitary that using toilet water... given that the intent is to get clean. And toilets - flushed or not - are just not the cleanest place to go...

As for your anxiety and alcohol use - time to call a local clinician somewhere near where you are -- and have a chat. Seems like there's some work to do to figure out how to handle these anxieties better... OK?



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