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Help me! I need this answered. Noone to talk to.
Sep 2, 2007

Like so many of the others, I am losing my mind. Perhaps for no reaon.

Three weeks ago I made out with a girl for a very long time, and later found that she had bit my lip, taking a small amount fo skin off. I don't think there was blood coming out of it, but I can't be sure.

The same night I fingered her for about 10 minutes. When I got home I saw that I had a cut on my finger. When it was first cut, possibly five hours before being with the girl, it bled for a short period then stopped. I have read most of the past posts and understand that there has never been a case of HIV being transmitted this way. But is it sooo irrational tobelieve that, while fingering her (the cut was on one of the fingers I was using on the part of the finger making most of the contact) the cut may have been opened or infected. I washed my hands maybe 1hr after the event. There was no blood coming from the cut, but does blood need to be coming from the cut? If it is opened enough not to release blood but open enough for the virus to get in?

Within 48hrs of this kissing and fingering I became very ill. Severe Headache and severe sore throat. Nasal Congestion. Night Sweats. No other symptoms since then only now I see three small dots in my legs (3wks after event) I believe this is due to my anxiety but I cannot be sure.

A week or so after this I recieved oral sex and had protected sex with the same girl. Because originally I did not blame my sickness on being with her.

I don't know her status. I know I am completely clean other than this event. I know there has only been one reported kissing transmission and no reported fingering trnsmissions. I have been having severe anxiety problems much like what others have described on here. It seems like if it can be transmitted through these routes, it has happened in my case.

I cannot and do not believe anxiety caused my initial sickness because I was not anxious or nervous about the event.

I am going to get tested but the 3 month marker is still 2 months away. These ideas in my head have consumed me. I can't imagine waiting 2 months to know for sure.

Please help me. I promise to donate if my question is answered. And please don't write it off as hypochronc B.S. I am aware of this possibility.

Also I am curious about your statistic that the odds of ne becoming infected by an HIV+ person is something like 10:10,000 or one in a thousand. This seems absurd, but you're the expert. Is there a study supporting this that you could forward me to, please?

Also, any suggestions on how to alleviate my anxiety while waiting for the 3 month marker?

Thank you for your time. -Guy needing help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Guy Needing Help,

Your HIV acquisition risks "bite on lip" and "fingering with cut" are indeed extremely common concerns, as I'm sure you are aware from perusing the extensive archives of this forum. These potential HIV exposures, particularly in light of the fact your partner's HIV status is unknown, remain minimal at best.

Regarding your "symptoms," becoming "very ill" 48 hours after this encounter would not be the result of HIV! Acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) symptoms resulting from primary HIV infection manifest themselves in weeks, not hours or days, after an exposure. I will not, as you request, "write these off as 'hypochronc B.S.'" (whatever "hypochronc B.S." is). But I will advise these symptoms are not HIV related!

Regarding the estimated HIV risk statistics seeming "absurd," well, what can I say? Facts are facts; statistics are statistics and yes, I am the expert. The CDC report listing these statistics can be downloaded at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5402.pdf.

As for suggestions to alleviate your anxiety, I would recommend you continue to become informed on the scientific facts related to HIV-transmission risk. Information and rational thought can go a long way in relieving anxiety related to unwarranted and irrational fears. If additional help is needed, see your doctor for consideration of anti-anxiety medications or counseling.

To sum up, I absolutely agree with you when you write ". . . Like so many others, I am losing my mind. Perhaps for no reason."

I'll send my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test is negative. I strongly believe it will indeed be negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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