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Re: Irrational Fear
Oct 27, 2002

Do "experts" take into consideration that someone may come into contact with any body fluid in a public restroom when determining the risk factor in this setting. You don't always pay attention to toilet seats or you don't see every little thing when the restroom is not lighted well. But this setting is still considered safe concerning hiv transmission. I've asked this a few times and have not received a response. So, I would be greatly appreciative if you could appease me and my irrational fear! Thank you so much for your response.

Response from Mr. Kull

"Experts", nor anyone else for that matter, cannot predict what is going to happen in each and every situation. We can only tell you the odds. I can tell you that a piano is probably not going to fall on you when you are walking down the street, and based on the odds I'm probably right, but I can't guarantee it. Don't ever take my responses as absolute truths or total guarantees of anything.

I base my responses on scientific evidence. The CDC tracks routes of HIV transmission in the United States, and there has not been a recorded case of transmission occurring through casual contact, which would include using a bathroom. HIV transmission is only considered a possibility when you have sexual contact with an infected person, have direct contact with blood (primarily through sharing injection needles), or if you are born to an HIV infected mother. There is really no point in worrying about other routes of transmission.

If you continue to have this "irrational fear", there is nothing that I can say or do to change that. Fears that are disproportionate to actual threats to your health or safety are driven by anxiety, and this can sometimes indicate an anxiety disorder. Even if you want to remain convinced that you can get HIV from a bathroom, consider seeing a mental health professional to get an evaluation because you might get some relief from the anxiety.

RMK



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