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Risk evaluation and oral thrush: Please help!
Oct 7, 2008

Dear Doctor,

First I would like to say how I admire your work and what you do for people. You are an angel!

My situation: Around 3 months ago I had a situation where I accidently wiped a toilet seat (public toilet) and used that same paper towel to wipe my genital area. When I stood up I noticed blood on the back of the toilet seat (not mine). The blood was no dried and I dont know if there was blood where I wiped also. I got really scared and contacted a local hiv/aids foundation and they told me that there was no risk because this was not a direct exposure. No tests needed, they said.

Anyway, I am still very concerned because 4 weeks after the incident I developed oral thrush that lasted for a week. That has been my only symptom. There have been no other risks and I was tested in the beginning of the summer because I am pregnant at the moment and I was negative.

The oral thrush made me even more scared and I would like to hear your opinion because it is highly appreciated:

Can I really trust the hiv/aids foundation when they say this was not a risk even though I developed oral thrush? Do you see this as a risk and do you recommend testing?

I dont want to get tested if I dont really have to because I am so scared of blood tests (needles and seeing blood) but I am also so tired of being scared... Please help!

I have decided to send your foundation a donation because I think that your work is very important!

All the best for you!

Yours,

Pregnant mother-to-be

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Pregnant Mother-To-Be,

I would agree with the advice you received from your local HIV/AIDS foundation. I also tend to doubt you had oral thrush. Was this diagnosed by a physician? If so, please note the vast majority of cases of oral thrush have nothing to do with HIV. If it was not diagnosed by a physician and you diagnosed it yourself, chances are extremely high you did not actually have thrush. (Remember you did not attend medical school and therefore are not qualified to diagnosis illnesses!) I do not feel HIV testing is warranted, unless you are just so freaked out by this incident that it's becoming a psychological problem for you. In that case, just get tested. The result will undoubtedly be negative and you'll be able to put these unwarranted fears permanently to rest.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

Be well. Stop worrying!

Dr. Bob



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