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Jan 14, 2008

I have tried to contact you so many times, but with no luck. I am so worried about my situation. I am a student nurse who works with HIV+ patients. One day about six weeks ago the doctors were doing a bone marrow biopsy andleft the patients bed soaked with blood and with needles. I wore a gown and double gloved to change the bed and clean the patient. Now I can't stop thinking about it. I'm certain I have HIV because I'm worried that maybe I got stuck with a needle or blood went in my eye as I changed the bed. Two weeks later I developed a stuffy nose, swollen tonsils with white spots, swollen lymph nodes in my neck, a mild fever, and an itchy rash. I breastfeed my baby and I'm worried to death she might have got it too. she also has swollen lymph nodes in her neck. Now am not breastfeeding and I can't even sleep. I beg you please give me some advice.

What are the possibilities I have HIV? Am I just paranoid? Should I take a test? Is a home access HIV test at 6 weeks conclusive? What do you recommend? Sorry for asking too much...but You have no idea how grateful I will be with you when you set my mind at peace. Thanks a million in advance. Also, thanks for all the work you do...i know you're a busy guy.

worried mom...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Worried Mom/Student Nurse,

You are "certain" you have HIV, because you are "worried that maybe (you) got stuck with a needle or blood went in (your) eye . . ."!?!?!? Hmm . . . are you sure nursing is the best vocation for you??? Your level of anxiety is way out of proportion to any real risk and your fears are totally irrational.

If you had been stuck by a needle, I can assure you that you would have noticed. If you don't believe me, try this experiment. Get a few sterile needles and try ramming them into various locations on your hands and see if you notice. Likewise with the blood splash in the eye. Try doing this even with water and I'm quite confident there won't be any "maybe" regarding whether you did get an ocular splash!

So are you "just being paranoid?" Yep! Should you take an HIV test? Nope! Is a Home Access HIV test at six weeks conclusive? Nope.

What do I recommend? I'd suggest you consider counseling to help you confront and hopefully conquer your irrational HIV fears. If that is not successful, you really should consider a different occupation.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

-ve @ 3 months, but Dr said I'm not clear yet?
do I need western blot?

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