Please help a Teacher in Torment - Blood on Paper
Jun 25, 2007
Dear Dr Bob I have searched the archives for a few hours and whilst I can find similar-ish questions and answers, I would very much appreciate your taking the time to answer a couple of queries that are causing me concern... My situation is / was as follows: During one of my lessons, a pupil cut himself and left a small bloody smear on his essay paper. Whilst I can't be sure if any of this blood came into contact with me or not, I am worried as I did have new and old paper cuts on my hands when I took the paper in. Also, just under 24 hours later, the aforementioned blood stain came into contact with my clothing. Should I be at all worried about either of these incidents? I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the help and advice you have given in the past - I have written to you before quite some time ago, when I was in the grip of HIV-related OCD and you very kindly replied then...At the time, I was so bad I couldn't work and you supported me in the decision to get treatment. The fact that I am back at work at all demonstrates how vital such treatment can be but, as you can see, my job does bring me into contact with people who bleed from time to time so, naturally, my OCD does flare up on occasions! Thanks again for your help and support. A Teacher in Torment from the UK
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Teacher in Torment from the U.K.,
I'm delighted my previous responses helped get you into treatment for your HIV-related OCD and that the treatment has been effective enough to allow you to return to work. However, it appears you still have quite a long way to go in confronting and conquering totally irrational HIV fears. The HIV-transmission risk from the incidents you describe is completely nonexistent. That you cannot recognize this fact yourself and continue to be "a teacher in torment" indicates that your OCD is still a very real problem that requires ongoing attention. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. However, your OCD and irrational fear of HIV are very real problems indeed.
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