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What should i do, please help.

Apr 6, 2008

hello Dr. Bob. I want to say i think its really great that you take the time to answer questions everyday, would you please take a little more time to answer mine.

I have a extreme phobia of HIV and it gets in the way of my normal life, i know this and i am going to start therapy next week. I have a girlfriend that i have been with for 4 years now and i love very much. She wants to be a nurse and she was previously in the nursing program before but got booted out because she didnt pass a class. Her teacher was telling her to recap needles when she was doing her clinicals and i know thats not the right thing to do, she says she never gotten poked but i cant exscape that fear because of my phobia. That was two years ago when she was in the program and she has since been waiting to get back in and she finally got in and starts next month. I am so scared, i dont want her to be a nurse and be around needles and blood and that sort of stuff. I love her with all my heart but she doesnt have that much common sense and something just tells me that something bad is gonna happpen. Please give me some good advice. Please help me. love jeff.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Jeff,

Your "extreme phobia of HIV" should not prevent your girlfriend from following her desires to become a nurse. Period. That would be totally unreasonable and most likely ultimately ruin your relationship. As you undoubtedly are aware, a phobia is a persistent abnormal and irrational fear of something. In your case, HIV. The problem is yours, not your girlfriend's. I'm glad to hear you will be starting therapy next week, as that is exactly the correct course of action for you to take. You need to work on your problem, not try to change your girlfriend's career plans to soothe an irrational fear. I would agree with you that recapping of used needles is never appropriate. Whichever "teacher" was encouraging that is the person who should get booted out of the program! Your girlfriend will learn "universal precautions," which have been standard practice in health care settings for the past quarter century. These policies and procedures were designed to prevent spread of bloodborne diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis from patient to health care worker and vice versa.

Good luck Jeff. Remember, the problem here is yours, not hers, OK?

Dr. Bob

I am very scared
science is supposed to be fun, not anxiety provoking!

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