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OCD-Chick Freaking Out
Oct 31, 2006

I know, I know, people ask questions like this all the time. I also know that it must be a pain to say the same thing over and over again. However, I'm freaking out and could really use some reassurance. About three months ago I went on a trip and after taking a shower went to use the hotel towels. I began using one towel, and noticed that it had come slight dicoloration, and decided to use a different towel. The next one I grabbed had some weird "stuff" on it that I could not begin to guess as to what it was, although I may have realized this after using the towel a bit. I asked my room mate after that to get me a different towel, and told myself not to take another shower becuase I was just being paranoid. Bad idea. What if, somehow, the maids had acciedentally put used towels in my hotel room, and the towels had HIV/AIDS infected blood on them. My friend told me I would have had to suck on the them(she was trying to lighten me up) to contract anything, but I still am worried. On top of this, I am worried about everything that I touched that day. I can't touch anything from that trip and beyond that, if I did touch something from the trip(even three months later) and then touch something else in my house, I worry about that, too. I try to calm myslef down, but my anxiety is getting to the best of me. It doesn't help that in my quest to calm my fears, I have come across some pretty wacky folks talking about how HIV can last a week outside of the body, even if dried, and two weeks in water. I guess I want to know what my risk is... a.of having contacted anthing from the towels b.of contracting anything from the things I touched after the towel incident on the trip(even if the things get wet) c.if anyone comes to my house and touches something from the trip and then masterbates(especially females)of contracting something d. if I am still using the same makeup that I used on the trip, and I put that makeup on after using the towels, should I worry about my wet hair "revamping" the virus now Sorry, this is ridiculous, but my OCD is getting the best of me, and right now, I can't touch anything in my house because I think it is all dirty, and I worry about my boyfriend coming over and getting something, and... you get the picture. I would really appreciate some words of wisdom. Thank you!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Freaked-Out OCD-Chick,

1. Nonexistent.

2. Nonexistent.

3. Nonexistent.

4. Nonexistent.

You know those "pretty wacky folks" you've run across who spout all sorts of nonsensical, nonscientific gobbledygook about HIV??? Well, you've just become one of them. It's time to see your shrink or OCD counselor. Your fears are definitely out of whack!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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