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Jan 13, 2004

Hi Dr.Bob!!

I recently posted a question but I guess I was not lucky enough to get a response so I'm trying again and besides I have more information. Anyhow the reason I'm writing is because of something that happened to my baby not me. We were in a antiques store and a woman working there she looked to be about 45 and was very wired up had a bleeding cut on her arm and while I was standing, holding my then 8 month old daughter she bumped into me and my baby. I immeditely looked down at my child and she had just placed her hand in her mouth. I just knew she had somehow got that womens blood to her mouth. I know there is a pretty good chance that this woman doesn't even have hiv. And I've heard from different hotlines about how hiv is not easily transmitted via the mouth and then I've also heard how the mouth is a mucous membrane and the cdc says can be absorbed through the lining etc. I have been bugging my pediatrician about this and she finally agreed to do an hiv test. The test she choose was somewhat of a surprise to me the hiv dna pcr. Why do you think she would pick this instead of an antibody test? How long after exposure would it take for hiv to show up on an pcr? This incident happened when my baby was 8 mo. she's now almost 13mo. One other incident i need to have cleared up since I'm hoping this might be my moment in the spotlight: my mom recently found out her partner of 7 years is using needles. She tested 6 months ago, neg. with orasure at health dept. This month same test indeterminate. She recently had aflu shot, anyhow she had to give blood this time and I can't help but worry about this. I try not to think about it but I almost know she has hiv even though I know the test can go either way. What is now bothering me is that a few days ago while my mom was doimg the laundry she dropped a pair of dirty underwear and I caught the baby with them. Since we're not sure if my mom ha hiv or not do you think if my kid put those panties in her mouth and there was any vaginal secretions up on them she could have contracted hiv this way? I keep comparing this to performing oral sex!!1 Please don't tell me to see a counselor, I already am!!

Response from Dr. Frascino


I'm delighted you are already seeing a counselor. It's definitely the right course of action for dealing with your problems of HIV-phobia and irrational fears. Neither of the situations you describe place your daughter at any risk whatsoever for HIV. Why did your pediatrician order a DNA PCR rather than an antibody test? I have no idea. You'll need to ask him. He's the one who ordered it. Right? Perhaps as a Pediatrician he's more used to ordering this test because its main use is for viral detection in the case of neonatal (newborn) HIV at four months or more. It's also helpful for sorting out indeterminate antibody test results. A PCR-DNA would be detectable even before the antibody test becomes positive. So you don't have to worry. Your daughter is HIV-negative. HIV testing was not even warranted.

Continue to work on your irrational fears with your counselor. Anxiety is your problem, not HIV.

Feel better.

Dr. Bob

C'mon, Doc, what are you doing?
CD4, CD8, CD4/CD8 ratio

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