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Concerned mom wonders about diabetis and HIV (couldn't find an answer in the archives, sorry)

Jul 26, 2004

Dear Dr. Bob,

after browsing quickly through your forum, I have to admit that - though I wouldn't sometimes allow my daughter to use some of the words posted here - you are one great doctor, compassionate and have more will of survival and biting life in the bottom that many of us should envy.

Yet, I am concerned. My daughter has recently been diagnosed with diabetis mellitus I at the difficult age of 15.

After some of the first impact has subsided at a stay at the hospital for the inductory check up, she now tries to get a hold of the routine that comes along with her ailment.

Now, since has to prick her fingertip to draw a tiny blood sample in order for her to check her glucose levels, I was wondering if she or I, myself should be concerned about HIV-transmission.

With this change in our life happening, I would like to thank any soothing advice you may give me. The last thing I'd need is to worry without a cause, when I should be worring with one.

Thank you very much for your time, Dr. Bob, and keep up the GREAT work.

Concerned mom

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Concerned Mom,

Since I am also a board-certified pediatrician, in addition to being a board-certified immunologist, I totally agree that some of the content in this forum may be inappropriate for some children; however, since this is indeed an HIV safe sex information website, I have decided not to censor the language or topics discussed, because there is far too much at stake if our HIV awareness and education information is not as real as the situations it must address. Thank you for seeing and realizing that the content presented here, despite the colorful verbiage and titillating scenarios, is indeed potent and helpful.

Sorry to hear about your daughter's recent diabetes diagnosis. Illness, just like love, sex and other unscheduled events in our lives, does indeed require a period of adjustment. Luckily, humans, and particularly kids, are remarkably adaptable creatures. I'm not sure why you are concerned about HIV transmission. From the lancet that she uses to poke her finger? From expressing the drop of blood to check her blood glucose? From having a tiny puncture mark on her finger? All of the above?

Mom, I see absolutely no cause for concern regarding HIV. The equipment used to test blood glucose levels is all completely sterile. Assuming your daughter is HIV negative, there should also be no risk to you or other family members, if they happen to come in contact with some of her blood. Most likely, she was also given special "sharps" containers to use to dispose of her used lancets. This should also help prevent accidental pokes. She should also have been trained how to cleanse her puncture site with alcohol, etc. These small wounds heal up remarkably quickly.

Consequently, all things considered Mom, you and your daughter's HIV risk remains essentially the same unprotected sex and/or sharing contaminated intravenous needles. Neither of these possibilities has anything to do with her recent diabetes diagnosis, OK?

Hopefully you'll find this advice comforting, allowing you to 1) focus your concerns where they belong and 2) bite the world in the ass (oops, sorry, I mean "bottom").

Dr. Bob

Robert James, this is your Mother talking
Hiv from tweezers

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