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scared about possible risk of transmission
Dec 27, 2008

Hi,

First I just want to thank you. I would also like to say the most people would consider me stupid or rebuke me but I am really worried and I seek your help.

A few days back I went to visit a person who is HIV+. Now an incident happened which is worrying me a lot.

I had to use his bike a couple of times and for that I also borrowed his helmet. Now everytime I took the helmet off my head something scraped against my right ear, it hurt, and there was a burning sensation. This happened a couple of times.

I examined the helmet and saw that the fabric inside the hemet had become very stiff and was broken in places. Several edges from the stiff cushioing were projecting out. When I noticed my ear there were two cuts. It was not like blood was dripping out of them, but definitely the skin was broken and they hurt.

I am really worrying about this incident. The fabric inside the helmet was something similar to the material of which seats coverings are made(not leather, something similar) With use it becomes stiff and cracks and starts to come off. Pieces start projecting from it and can hurt you if you scrape against it.

Now anybody who used that helmet would have been hurt while taking off the helmet. 2-3 times I used the helmet just after he had used it. There was however a 5-10 minute gap between his taking off the helmet and mine using it. Can this be a means of transmission. Should I worry about the cuts on my ear and get tested?

Thanks a lot. Also how can I donate to the foundation ?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your HIV-acquisition risk is nonexistent. If my reassurance isn't enough for you to shake your worries, get a single HIV test at the three-month mark. The results will undoubtedly be negative, but if this helps put your (unwarranted) fears permanently to rest, it may well be worth the effort.

Donation information for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. In return, I'm sending my good-luck karma!

Be well. Stay well. Nol!

Dr. Bob



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