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Insulted by CDC for transmission question
Sep 8, 2003

Dr Bob,

I know how busy you are, I have been visiting this website now for almost 2 months. You do wonderful work. Mr. Kull is gone? You are now busier than ever Please, please, please answer my question!!! (how selfish am I?) This is somewhere around my 6-7 try. I am going insane and have talked to the CDC AIDS hotline twice (the first time a little southern woman said, I wouldnt know anything about cocaine use. Very snotty and made me feel chastised) the second time a knowledgeable sounding woman gave me a very different answer, but first my question 4th of July my husband and I stupidly did some cocaine with friends, snorting only-I would NEVER mess with needles and neither would my hubby, but some of the friends I do not know well, meaning I would have no clue if they are HIV + or not. Have not done cocaine in a very long time and its just not worth what I am doing to myself (not to mention my marriage) right now! Driving myself and my hubby nuts! Anyway, when it was my turn, I went immediately after a friends girlfriend (who does copious amounts of cocaine, snorting only to the best of my knowledge). The dollar bill was wet (with what I will guess was snot) when I used it after it was up her nose, my husband said no ones nose was bleeding. What is my risk of transmission here? Do I need to be tested? It has been two months and I dont know if I can make the last one The next morning when I blew my nose, there were smudges of pink/red, not actually a bloody nose, but miniscule amounts on the Kleenex. Back to the CDC: Knowledgeable woman said that I am not at risk. HIV is very fragile and would have started breaking down as soon as it was outside the body, ASSUMING this girl even has it. Also, the amount of blood that would have to have been on the bill for transmission to occur would have been so obvious that no one could have missed it and that I am making it too easy in my head to transmit the virus. One last thing, both my husband and I take Acyclovir daily for herpes (both infected by previous partners that liked to share this, but not the knowledge that they had it in the first place-people can really suck). Would this have interfered with the previous negative HIV results both my husband and I have had? Also, would it interfere with symptoms of HIV? Lastly, what causes a false positive? Is there such a thing as false negatives after the window period? Please answer Doc., I know it was stupid and will never happen again, but I am feeling really judged so far and would like to be able to stop obsessing about this. Also, I worry about the HIV outside the body thing, because this was immediate that I used the bill and I dont think HIV would break down that quicklywould it? Again, I wouldnt even know if she has it or not.

Thanks Dr. Bobreally. Love your work here, but I would love to get on with my life even more!

-J

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi J,

The CDC is supposed to provide you with information, not insults and judgmental comments!

Your HIV risk from snorting the nose candy with a snotty Ben Franklin (or whatever denomination you used) does not place you at significant risk for HIV. Acyclovir does not interfere with HIV test results or symptoms. False positives are caused by several technical glitches, the sensitivity of the particular test used (PCR's have more false positives than antibody tests), and certain concurrent illnesses. False negatives are possible, but extremely rare. For instance, laboratory errors could give false negatives. Should you stop using cocaine? Only you can decide, but I certainly don't recommend the stuff. Should you get on with your life? Absolutely!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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