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Should my son be worried?
Nov 7, 2010

Hello Dr Benjamin and Joseph! I'm from France but I hope you'll understand my son's problem... I salute you and appreciate the answers you give people in trouble, depression, or anxiety. I have a question for you that gives me headaches for several weeks (about eight) about an unfortunate accident story. My son Marc has a problem, he's hypochondriac and some weeks before he used the public toilet of a restaurant and there he received a backsplash which touched his anus, he was very scared and quickly he uesd the toilet paper which was very rough and scratched the anal area. Marc quickly called me told me his story, he said that the toilet water seemed clear. He's very scared now, I told him that is not a HIV care. Marc was relaxed for almost a week but now he has one Node at his left ear that really hurts, he said that is a symtom of that virus. I don't now what to do or say.

He was scared because he scratched his back (anus while he wiped with the toilet paper) Marc thought that scratch was a loophole to viruses. I hope he'll calm down after your answer :)

I know somebody from Laboratory analysis who told me that HIV survive only to a specific temperature, it is true? and when the virus come into contact with any substance (in Marc case, the water) he dies, once again another question. Is there any truth to my hypothesis ? Merci beaucoup!!! I hope you can answer my question. Have a great day!

Response from Dr. McGowan

Sorry to hear how upset your son is.

He should not worry, he would not be at risk for HIV from this scenario.

HIV does not survive on surfaces for long, since he was not in contact with blood (no visible blood in the toilet water) there is no reason to do any testing or preventive therapy.

Best, Joe



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