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Urethra Cotton Swab Test
Apr 11, 2007

Hi,

I went to my local health department to get STI testing. One of the things they did is shove a cotton swab up my urethra and turn it. I was in severe pain, and got dizzy afterwards, and then threw up. I just wanted to know that if it was possible to become infected with HIV while getting a cotton swab test? My concern is that the doctor may have reused that swab on me. The doc said she didn't though - but I just needed to hear your thoughts.

Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

The cotton swab rammed up the one-eyed monster is not exactly a pleasant experience. I've seen a few folks get dizzy and lots of folks curse like Al Sweringen on Deadwood, but I haven't seen anybody barf afterward. I'll bet that made the technician or whoever obtained the specimen wonder if his or her technique might be just a bit too aggressive. At any rate, to answer your question, no, you cannot contract HIV by getting an STD test performed!!! Gosh, if that were the case, the whole system would be rather counterproductive, doncha think?

Relax, Max, before you become Barfing Betty again.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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