Jun 4, 2005
Dear Dr. Bob, Just wanted to say a big thank you to you for all the questions you answer. After reading them, I felt alot of relief and realised that talking about stuff really helps. I September last year I had sex with a condom. There were no breakages but I got a scratch from the many rounds I had. I was tested for Hiv antibodies after 12 weeks and was found to be negative. I waited another three months and tested negative. This year, I was the caregiver of my sister in law who had full blown aids. her cd4 count was 164 and she hadnt been given any ARVs yet. She was admitted because she had tb, pneumonia and Anemia combined...they told me she as too weak to take ARVs and her mind was unstable so they first started treating the TB and other infections. I used to bathe her and wash her soiled clothes and make sure she is comfortable. I used gloves and disinfected the clothes with bleach before bleaching through out. She died on May 13th and was buried on 231st May. I know that many people are afraid to care for their loved ones at the final stage of Aids because of myths. Is it possible to get hiv from handling a very sick person? I have been having a running stomach for two weeks now non stop. I sought treatment and it hasnt stopped. Could i have been infected? I just need assurance because I'd like to register as a voluntary Home Based Care giver. Thanks....Chichi, Africa
Response from Dr. Frascino
You are correct many people are afraid to care for their loved ones in the final stage of AIDS, because of myths and irrational fears. HIV is not transmitted by caring for or "handling a very sick person."
Regarding your "running stomach," I do not believe this is HIV related. There are many potential causes. If the symptoms are persisting, you should follow up with your doctor.
I applaud your compassion and your personal commitment in battling the AIDS epidemic by registering as a voluntary home-based care giver. The program should provide you with detailed and specific information about HIV transmission and healthcare safety issues. If you have specific questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Your sister-in-law was lucky to have such a caring and compassionate friend at her side in her time of need and transition.
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