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Oct 10, 2003


I would highly appreciate if you could kindly answer the question I have got.I have tried many other fora but have not got a convincing answer.

About 3 weeks ago, while at a party beer spilled on my face.I had it wiped out with a tissue that was on the table.However, it was only later I realised that on the tissue was a toothpick that was used by a lady I would say belonged to a high risk category.From what I could see the toothpick was used for picking up roasted beef called Suya.( I live in Nigeria ). However, I am not very sure whether it was used as a toothpick.I did not see any blood on the tissue either(Worried about the microscopic amounts that are not visible to the human eye)

I am an acne sufferer.

After about 10 days after this incidence I got body pains,headache and felt a few lymph nodes enlarged on my neck.( About 2 slightly enlarged - what I could feel) and had some pains under the armpits.I did not have fever, rashes .Neither did I have a running nose, sorethroat, sneezing etc. However, during this period and about a month prior to this incidence I have begun taking 2 tablets of Co-atrimaxizole on doctor's advice for acne.

From all these facts, could someone kindly advice me on my risk of getting HIV !!!!!I know that contracting HIV from environmental surfaces is highly unlikely.

Could you kindly tell me how much blood(quantity) would be required to infect a person.(1mm diameter patch ,2mm etc.)

Thanking you

Yours sincerely


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Barbara,

Not answer because you're from Africa? No my dear, I did not answer because I was hoping you would realize your question is a bit absurd. First off, you say, "I know that contracting HIV from environmental surfaces is highly unlikely." So . . . why are you worried about a used toothpick? Your risk is nonexistent. By the way, blood is not measured in millimeters!

Stay well; stop worrying; enjoy your Suya any old toothpick will be fine!

Dr. Bob

THe best thing you did was not answer

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