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Mental illness and fear of transmission

Mar 3, 2019

Sorry to bother you. I am a heaIthcare professional and saw an out patient who is HIV positive and just got his finger pricked for a glucose test. He was also carrying his own file to the office. I was obviously handling the file as well but didnt see any blood on it. Afterwards I hadnt washed my hands or anything and took a piece of fluff off my tongue. Do you think I am at risk of HIV? I did go for a test today and it was negative but I was concerned about a window period. Sorry to bother you with this but I have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder which results in great anxiety over things like this - it is also my greatest fear to become HIV positive. Thank you for your help in advance.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

HIV requires blood-to-blood contact to be transmitted and the virus is very fragile outside of the body, on things like the file. It sounds like there was no direct exposure and that you had no open sores or wounds which would have enabled transmission.

I would continue to get tested for 3 months (perhaps once a month?) just for peace of mind but I don't consider you at any risk.



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