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I can't believe it, why now...please help!

Sep 21, 2005

So Dr. Bob, this is a realy sureal strory to be sure. Thanks for the all the help you have been to myself and others well we battle our fears and risks...you have indeed helped me immensely over the last few day's...thanks again!

Basically...my story is a bitter sweet one, I have entered into a new relationship recently and we both went into be tested for "everything." With the both of us coming back negative for all, including hiv. But I had an experience last week that has left me unsettled and unsure. I am trying to stay strong and analytical about it, but the mind is a powerful thing. My possible risk was I took my SUV to a car wash, and the attendant took my money. In the process of going through the car wash I noticed on my right thumb by my cuticle a brownish red line. At first I tried to rub it but it seemed dried. I then went home and washed and scrubbed my hands thoroughly, but most of the line did not go away. My skin was dry in this area but with no visible cuts. So I pilled the dry skin off where the line/matter was and most all of this came off. Except a very tiny bit at the end, which to this day still is there. I cannot scrub it clean or peel this small bit off. But in the process of all this cleaning/peeling my cuticle started to bleed a little. So Iam worried that this my have been the attendents blood, as I know he touched my thumb taking my money. So I guess my questions are as follows:

1: Can blood dry that quickly from contact with someone as to where it can't be smeared or washed off within an 1/2 hour.

2: And with no visible bleeding cut on my thumb (at the time I noticed this) am I at risk for infection.

3: Or do you think that since there still is a small portion of this matter on my thumb that I cannot wash/peel off that it may have been a small cut of my own or even some sort of dried exzema or old blood from myself.

4: And lastly, I know it seems absurd, but can this small minute risidual mark that I cannot wash off still be infected blood, as I have found myself not using my right hand for eating and wear a bandaid to cover it up, even though there is no wound (I know...sounds nuts.)

But most importantly, what risk do you think I am at, and can I continue with my new relationship as if we both are still desease free...as we both have taken so seriously.

I plan on donating to your cause very soon, and will contact your office as well, as I feel like what I do for a living and the people and work I deal with might be able to be of some help to you.

Thanks in advance,

Sleepless (and worried) in Seattle

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Sleepless in Seattle,

Hmmm . . . did you ever see the Shakespeare play, "Macbeth?" "Out, out damn spot???" Oh, never mind.

OK, on to your quirky questions:

1. No

2. No

3. No

4. No

5. Yes, this sounds nuts!

6. Risk? None.

Relax, Sleepless! Your fears are completely unwarranted. The biggest risk I see to your relationship is your rather impressive irrational fear of HIV. Counseling could help you cope with these anxieties. Thanks for your donation and offer to help those in need.

Now get some sleep! Those dark circles under your eyes are not attractive!

Pleasant dreams!

Dr. Bob



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