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Putting potential risk in perspective.
Oct 27, 2005

Welcome back, Dr. Bob!

It's your old ex-WW pal Justin Case. It's been a lonely place here without your presence; but the archives still were tons of fun to read in your absence.

However, I noticed that there are two ends of the spectrum when evaluating the potential estimated per-incident HIV risk. There's the "ohmygod, i just touched a stripper's tit and i've contracted HIV" approach, and the "the odds are so low that I have nothing to worry about" approach.

I'm sure that you and many of your readers have seen this little adage a few times in the past, but I figured I'd repost it to emphasize one of your previous statements that read "HIV is difficult to get, but not as difficult to get as those infected by it thought:"

Assuming that there was only a .01% chance of HIV contraction (and a 99.9% chance of not contracting it):

* Every day two planes would crash at Chicagos OHare Airport. * Southwest Airlines would have 702 planes crash annually. * 12 newborn babies would be dropped on delivery each day. * 4,368 babies would be given to the wrong parents annually. * 2 million documents would be lost by the IRS this year. * Also, the IRS would incorrectly process 103,260 returns this year. * In the next 60 minutes, 22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank account. * Every minute 1,314 telephone calls would be misdirected by telecommunication services. * As many as 268,500 defective tires would be shipped in the next year. * In the next hour, 18,322 pieces of mail would be mishandled. * In the next year, 55 malfunctioning automatic teller machines would be installed. * 107 incorrect medical procedures would be performed each day. * Over 20,000 prescriptions would be filled incorrectly annually.

So, with all the sex going on out there, it's still important to take proper safer-sex precautions, however it's equally as important not to freak out if the occasional protection faux-pas occurs.

Best wishes, Dr. Bob..

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Justin,

I'm delighted to hear you are still "X-filing" and appreciate your taking the time to help put HIV transmission risk in its proper perspective.

Regarding condom failures or other unavoidable HIV exposures, everyone should also be aware of PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). All sexually active folks need to be HIV savvy "just in case."

Stay well, my friend.

Dr. Bob



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