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Could you show mercy to a Chinese student by answering the questions?

Sep 10, 2003

Please help me! I am a Chinese college student. Once when I was traveling by train in China, an old woman borrowed my toothpaste, saying that she forgot to bring her own. At the moment I was washing my face, and she was at the lavabo next to me. I lent mine to her, without thinking much of it. Then she used it and returned it to me, and I used it. I remember I did not see blood in the foam when cleaning my teeth. Then several days later, I was grasped by fear. I am in great fear that if she is an HIV positive person, and lending to her my toothpaste will put myself under a dangerous situation! I dont have the courage to take a test. In China, people of my age who take such a test will be regarded as persons who have sex with a whore or drug users. Do you think I need a test? And, do I need to also test for hepatitis B & C? Do help me cause the panic does more harm to my health than do the viruses!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Chinese College Student,

Sharing your tube of Crest with an old granny on a train does not put you in "a dangerous situation." No, you do not need tests for HIV or hepatitis. You might consider getting some counseling for your irrational fear of HIV and hepatitis. Or at least do spend some time looking around this website and related links for basic information on HIV and HIV transmission. It will be time well spent!

Dr. Bob

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