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gym risk from a Catholic priest
Jan 11, 2009

Dr. Bob, First of all, thank you for this wonderful service you provide people. Even a priest, I envy your patience and compassion. I have made a $50 donation to your foundation, because I have personally seen just how AIDS can devastate people. Your prevention efforts are extremely noble, and youre doing Gods work. Okay, I am celibate, but I lapse from time to time with masturbation (I should also mention I have a mild form of OCD). I have never had sexual contact since professing my vows, but Im worried I have inadvertently placed myself at risk following trips to the gym. I change socks there, and the socks touch the carpeted floor of the locker room. The carpet is usually slightly damp from guys coming in and out of the showers. Ive also noticed semen sometimes in the bottom of the shower stalls. So it is possible that small amounts of semen (or I suppose blood from a cut that has bled on the floor) have gotten on the socks via the damp carpeting. The socks only touch the floor for a second or two as I put on my running sneakers. Afterwards, I place my sweaty socks into my sneakers and the shoes into the gym bad. Sometimes after at least two hours, I used them to wipe up the semen from the tip of my penis after I masturbated while at home. I also sometimes bring them up to my nose which has that vulnerable membrane lining. I have been worrying about this for a while, and so I got an HIV test 4 weeks after the last event. I know from my research that 4 weeks is not conclusive, but it does reduce the odds considerably, and also places me in a safe zone for the times I did this three or more months before the test. I should note that the socks were still damp with sweat (since theyve been balled up in my shoes for a few hours) when I did this. (Question #1) Is the chance that I will become infected, given my test and that Ive stopped the practice low, almost nonexistent, or completely nonexistent? The second risk just happened this morning when I sniffed a pair of my regular dress socks on my feet to see if they were still clean. I had worn them to bed last night, but they had also touched the gym floor about 12 hours earlier. Since these were dry (they were out of shoes for 12 hrs), I think I can safely assume that there was no risk here. (Question #2) Is it correct to say that this risk was completely nonexistent? Thanks for answering these questions. I wish I had more control over my emotions, but Im really worrying about these possible exposures. Gods Blessings (and continued scientific advancement) for good health!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Father,

Thank you for your kind words, blessings and donation to my foundation. All are warmly appreciated.

Responding to your specific questions:

1. Completely nonexistent.

2. Completely nonexistent.

I would suggest you peruse the wealth of information on this site, its archives and the related links pertaining to exactly how HIV is and is not transmitted. You should find the information enlightening and reassuring. However, I should warn you some of the questions and my response are graphic and might warrant an NC-17 rating at the movies.

Father, may I now ask for your help? I and so many others would greatly appreciate anything you can do to enlighten the Catholic Church's archaic and extremely damaging views on homosexuality. I'm quite confident the higher powers, whoever they turn out to be, would approve. Striving for equality for all, that too should be "God's work."

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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