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Snot and nappies - a very random transmission question - but please answer!!!
Jul 1, 2006

Hi Dr Bob, Just want to tell you first that you're brilliant, and I don't really know how you put up with some of the questions asked of you on here - probably including this one, but the problem is once you get something in your head you can't get it out again! Here goes... if someone has HIV and pick their nose, wipe it on a tissue, and then use the tap in your kitchen to wash their nasty snotty bogie hand, and then two and a half hours later your husband who didn't witness the snot incident, drained the pasta in the same sink and left the strainer sitting in the sink for a few minutes (so possibly a few pasta shapes were touching the sink) - is it possible to contract HIV when you eat the pasta? Sorry I know it sounds crazy, I am normal usually I assure you!! I suppose it depends whether there is HIV in snot?? The other question is - if that same person who I worry has HIV has changed your babys nappy (I think you Americans call them diapers - no idea why!!!) - and she had been biting her nails earlier so had dried saliva on her hands - could she have passed HIV on to my baby? Please please please reply - even if it is the shortest answer ever like "no and no you nutcase", just so I can stop obsessing! Thanks xxxxx Obsessive in UK!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Obsessive in UK,

Scenario #1:

1. No. You may worry it's an HIV risk, but it's snot (so to speak).

Scenario #2:

2. "No, you nutcase." And by the way, Wikipedia informs me that "diapers" is derived from Middle English, "a patterned fabric," from Old French, "diapre," from Medieval Latin, "diasprum," a white silken material and from Medieval Greek, "diaspros," pure white.

As for "nappy," Wikipedia has no derivation and defines it as "a popular adjective describing Afro-textured hair!"

Finally, why in the world are you letting your pasta sit in the strainer for a few minutes? As a full-blooded Italian, I can tell you that's going to cause your rigatoni (or whatever) to clump together (like a bunch of Republicans around a bad idea). Freshly strained pasta should be immediately tossed with its fresh red sauce, sprinkled with a good pecorino, served piping hot and enjoyed with a fine Chianti. Now that's Italian!

Ciao!

Dr. Bob



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