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cut on finger + virologic doorknobs = hypochondriac worried well
Dec 2, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob,

First I want to say that you are a model for all of us to live by. You were infected helping someone and now continue to fight just as hard to help your own cause and help the rest of us not to meet the same fate. You have a lot of good karma directed your way and I have total faith that you will live a long, happy life and that you will be an integral part of finding a cure someday (not to mention that my eyes have been watering reading your hilarious responses). Don't listen to those gap-toothed, gun-toting, limbaugh-loving, southern foothill-dwelling christian fundamentalists who don't respect you--you are a hundred times better than them and more a saint in God's eyes than they could ever be.

I'm sorry if this question is asked a lot, but I am a hypochondriac and I was helping a neighbor move the other day. the epidermis of my index finger got scraped raw in a tiny area. the next day I went to school and forgot to bandage or neosporin my booboo and I was walking around all day touching doorknobs at the school with the same finger that was still raw from the day before (although it was long past the bleeding stage). I want to know what my chances are of being infected, say someone jerked off in the bathroom and didn't clean up and I touched a doorknob or bled and was careless about it (although I never entered a bathroom thank God). It would have come in direct contact with the wound! Please Dr. Bob I hope I'm not being disrespectful to you and others who fight this disease everyday with your chin up, and I know my chances are slim, but could you give me a percentage chance? I'm thinking of arranged a NAT or a PCR test with Labcorp at 28 days because I don't think I can bear to wait 3 months. Should I? I value your expert opinion and will follow whatever you advice.

Much Thanks and good karma, Nate

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Nate,

Thanks for your very kind comments.

Regarding the HIV risk from your non-bleeding booboo and "virologic doorknobs" at school, your HIV-acquisition risk is exactly zero! Yep, that's right: zero, zip, nada, bupkis! If HIV were transmitted that easily, it would have wiped out the planet long ago. Nate, HIV testing is not warranted for medical reasons. However, if my reassurances are not enough for you to shake your (unwarranted) worries, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The results will undoubtedly be negative. NAT and/or PCR are not recommended for routine screening due to the rate of false-positive tests.

Be well. Stay well. (You are indeed well!)

Dr. Bob



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