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resp therapist need help
May 7, 2005

Hi Dr. Bob,

I had a trached hiv patient 1 month ago and didn't know his status unitl after i met him. The only caontact I had with him is when I introduced myself and touched his hand. I had a small cut on my finger from the day before. My question is is ther any risk I didn't really see his hand what if he had a cut or blood on it. I can't relax over this do I need to be tested? I have a baby and I am considering not being a therapist anymore. Please help me. thank you I will send donation

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Resp. Therapist,

Chances are you have touched the hands of other HIV-positive people and never knew it. If, for instance, I were to meet you, would you be worried about shaking my hand?

To answer your question, no, there is absolutely no risk for casual contact with HIV-positive folks (with or without a tracheostomy tube). You and every person on the planet should have been taught this simple fact repeatedly over the past several decades.

Not being a respiratory therapist anymore is certainly an option open to you. Not being an inhabitant of planet earth, which has over 40 million HIV-positive people, is certainly not.

You have no need for testing, other than perhaps some reality testing.

Dr. Bob



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