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Mother of a 4- year old whose curiousity could be a bad thing
Apr 6, 2007

Dear Sir: I am the mother of a 4-year old that is very precocious to say the least. We were visiting the National Mall for the Cherry Blossoms last night and we were in the bathroom. Before I turned my back for a moment after situating her on the seat to grab my purse that was falling, and low and behold she had what looked to be a piece of toilet paper with a speck of red, I can only assume is blood, in her hand. I'm not sure if she touched the red speck or not (the speck was no bigger than a felt tipped pin dot) I grabbed it and we threw it away. And she continued to use the bathroom then wiped herself. Is there a chance she could have come into contact with HIV from the speck and gotten infected? Or what if her hands came into contact with the virus and then she wiped? Should I go have her examined by a doctor? I'm concerned and when I called her doctor at home, he scoffed at my concerns. Please help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

HIV has been around for more than a quarter of a century. Over 40,000,000 of us are currently infected. And yet I'm continually amazed that so many folks, like you, have managed to remain so completely uninformed about the basics of HIV/AIDS transmission. I won't scoff at your concerns. That wouldn't be professional or kind. But that doesn't mean I'm not tempted to do so, because your worries are completely irrational. If HIV were that easy to catch, it would have wiped out the entire planet long ago. I strongly encourage you to spend some time reviewing the information in the archives and on related links to learn the very, very, very basic facts about HIV and, in particular, how HIV is and is not transmitted. Doing so will prevent future episodes of scoffing that are sure to come if you continue to harbor such outlandish concerns.

Dr. Bob



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