"the blood pool" workplace HIV exposure
May 10, 2007
Hi Doc, you are truly the best. Keep up the great work.
I keep trying to convince a friend that their exposure risk was zero, maybe he will listen to you. He has fallen into a depression because of this, and is terrified of HIV. This happened two months ago.
Here is the story. He works at a restaurant where they keep a pool of soapy water where they rinse washcloths in order to wipe the tables. One of the cooks suffered a cut on his hand, and although not witnessed, my friend thinks that he might have rinsed it in the pool. My friend then proceeded (unknowingly) to rinse a few washcloths in that pool and wipe some tables. He had a day old closed cut on his finger. How would you rate the exposure risk?
You helped me in the past to get over unncessary worrying, maybe you can help him as well.
Thanks so much
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your friend's HIV risk is nonexistent. If he remains worried, let alone terrified and depressed, he should get an HIV rapid test at the three-month mark. The results will undoubtedly be negative. However, this may be the most efficient and effective means for him to put his unwarranted and irrational worries permanently to rest. During the next four weeks, while he's waiting for his three-month window period to be up, I suggest he study the information on this site, in its archives and on its related links. He should find the information here both enlightening and encouraging.
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