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thank you
Jan 31, 2009

Thank you very much Dr bob for taking the time to answer my question and include other similar posts like mine. I am "worried well from xxxx", who asked about my "friend from Africa. I am much more relieved now, not only because odf your reassuring words (which were all I needed really), but also because there was some kind of confusion. This lad was living in the Canary Islands, not actually in continental Africa, and he lived there for about 2 years, mostly because he is a surfer and there are good waves there (I am too but not as expert or crazy as him). So, while we were on our coke based, binge drinking he told me he had been living in Africa but didn't say where...you know, Canary Island are between africa and Spain. But since I know the situation in some parts of Africa and he was so wasted he could hardly speak I didn't get the right information. ALso I know him for a long time, only i had'nt heard from him in a couple years. But now mi sister who talks to him more regularly told me and also some friends in common, he even had a steady girlfriend there. And the bruises were from a serious car accident he had there more than a month ago and he hass his face smewhat bruised, including his lips. I know all this is irrelevant for the matter, I know that it doesn't really matter where you live but I also admit, although I know more than most people about HIV and its transmission, I have fear of it, sometimes irrational, sometimes rational but always fear, and also have anxiety, some OCD (somewhat controlled I think) and suffer from depression. I am still waiting for my 3 month mark exam from a very low risk exposure I had before but am quite sure it will be OK. Just wanted tto let you know how reassuring a couple of words from you can be and thank you a million times for taking some of your prescious time to answer me and advice me. Also, I will not forget to send the donation I promised. By the way, you don't have to post this if you don't want to, just wanted to tell you the whole sory and thank you. I hope you are doing well and I will also try to get therapy and do something about the intake of excessive tobacco and alcohol. You really do make a difference doctor. Many, many thanks, I am very more relaxed now. Donation coming before end of march as I promised.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Worried Well from XXXX,

Thanks for your thanks. I'm delighted you found my comments helpful. I'm also very pleased you have decided to seek help for your problems with alcohol and tobacco abuse. Hopefully the same therapist would be able to help you confront and conquer your other issues as well. These would include OCD, irrational fears of HIV, anxiety and depression. These conditions are often interrelated. I encourage you to use this opportunity to improve both your physical and psychological well-being.

Good luck. Good health.

Dr. Bob

friend from africa Jan 29, 2009

I hope you received my post about my friend who came from africa. I am not sure if I submitted it correctly. In short: I am not sure which country he stayed on or for how long. He was heavily bruised and beaten up (I suppose it was in Africa but am not sure) Had bruises all over and wounds (not bleeding but some of them clustered and others looked like flesh. I didn't see any bleeding. He also had the inside of his mouth (gums, inside of lips swollen I suppose beacuse of the beating he had received) My worries are only casual contact (shaking hands, light hugging, he using my toilet, resting on my bed etc). I did not have any open wounds that I was aware of, only maybe in my teeth or tongue because of brushing which sometimes happens to me but I did not notice it this time and my las brush had been many hours ago.

My principal concerns are the sharing of cigarettes, beer cans and bottles and a bottle of water that I had been drinking (not sure if he did, didn't see him) were i found a small reddish matter at the tip of the bottle but just realised today, after more than 24 hours from the incident but I did drink from that bottle yesterday and the day before...Maybe it was a small piece of food I am not sure but am afraid it might be blood. My concern is that he had been heavily beaten up not long ago and had bruises in the inside of his mouth which I did see (didn't get to see real blood but he definitely had the inside of his upper lips swollen. I am also concerned because I don't know what he's been up too in Africa nor in which country he stayed. We also shared the same credit card to sniff coke. Please give me your advice...My Id is worried well from XXXX (please omit XXXX if you can). Thank you so so much.

I promised a 50 $ donation before the end of march.

Ill be waiting anxiously for your reply please do reply. If you think it is silly...I have seen you respond to sillier questions before, so please please please keep this one in mind, you would really help me a lot in easing my mind.and although similiar questions may be in the archives, none is exactly the same as to be 100% confident and I would really appreciate to hear it from you. before so please keep this one in mind, you would really help me a lot in easing my mind.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You are correct: Similar questions are indeed in the archives! My response to you is exactly the same as my responses in those archival posts. You cannot contract HIV from casual contact. Period. That includes sharing cigarettes, beer cans, bottles, etc. In addition, it includes shaking hands; hugging; using the same toilet, bed, etc.

My advice to you is simple:

1. Stop worrying about casual contact leading to HIV transmission. See below.

2. Stop smoking. If you don't, cigarettes will kill you in a very painful and undignified fashion.

3. Stop snorting coke. It will ruin your health and your life.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's very much appreciated! Finally, sure, I'll delete xxxx.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

New Friends have HIV (HIV TRANSMISSION, CASUAL CONTACT) Jul 30, 2008

My wife met a nice couple and we have been hanging out with them. They told her when they first met that they are HIV positive. I know it is just my ignorance of this disease but I admit I'm a little nervous and I shouldn't be. I know most transfers come from sex and blood contact. I just want to make sure we are safe and learn all I can about this. Are there other things we should be on the lookout for when we are at their house or with them?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You're correct. You're a little nervous, but you shouldn't be!!! HIV is not transmitted by casual contact. See below. Also, check out the archives of this forum. We have an entire chapter devoted to nonsexual HIV prevention.

Enjoy your new friends. Don't let HIV spoil the party.

Dr. Bob

THANK YOU...you opended my mind (HIV TRANSMISSION, CASUAL CONTACT) Oct 23, 2007

I wrote to you about 3 to four days ago about my fear of contracting hiv by casual contact with my father. Well, I just want to thank you for making me see how wrong and uneducated I was by my behavior and HIV. I know now that with proper percautions I can stay negative but still give the love and support that my dad needs. Yes, if I ever were to contrat the virus I would not like to be descriminated against in any way and specially by my own family. Thank you, for making me understand that HIV is more that a virus...HIV is a virus that inhabits people as me and you. And, this people are heroes for not letting themselves get defested by this disease

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I very much appreciate your writing back! I'm delighted you now have a better understanding of what HIV is, what it means to those of us who are infected and how HIV is and is not transmitted. Please "pay it forward" by helping us increase HIV/AIDS awareness in others who may also benefit from such enlightenments. Give your dad a hug from me. OK?

Dr. Bob

PLEASE RESPOND! I'M OUT OF MY MIND! Oct 18, 2007

My father is a very promiscous man that likes to go to many strip joints and sleep around. He tested positive about 6 months ago and since then I' have lived in total panic. I'm afraid to have casual contact with him. Like every time I give him a kiss on the cheek I freak out if he has a a cut or something. Like today I gave him a kiss on the cheek not notesing that he has a rasor cut on his cheek with dry blood. Or what I think it was dry and I have had chapt lips for a while. So my question is how risky is that? thank you for your time

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Let's start with a very basic fact: HIV/AIDS is not transmitted by casual contact. Period! This basic information has been readily available for over a quarter of a century! Your comment, "I'm afraid to have casual contact with him," is alarming and disappointing. It demonstrates once again a significant lack of general and very basic HIV/AIDS knowledge! (I could also point out you have a significant lack of general spelling knowledge as well: promiscuous, not "promiscous;" noticing, not "notesing;" razor, not "rasor;" chapped, not "chapt;" etc., but that's another issue entirely!) I'd suggest you spend less time worrying and being freaked out and more time perusing the wealth of information on HIV/AIDS available on this site, its archives and its related links. I'll reprint some basic information from the archives below.

Your father needs and deserves your love and support, rather than your "total panic," as he copes with the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS. Being excessively judgmental and ill informed is certainly not helpful.

Dr. Bob

AIDSinfo What You Need to Know About HIV and AIDS

How HIV is Spread

The most common ways HIV is spread are: By having unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex with one who is infected with HIV

By sharing needles or syringes ("works") with someone who is infected with HIV

From mothers to their babies before the baby is born, during birth, or through breast-feeding. Taking the drug AZT during pregnancy can reduce the changes of infecting the baby by two-thirds, but will not prevent all babies from becoming infected with HIV.

Earlier in the AIDS epidemic some people became infected through blood transfusions, blood products (such as clotting factors given to people with hemophilia), or organ or tissue transplants. This has been very rare in the United States since 1985, when the test for HIV was licensed. Since then, all donated blood and donors of organs or tissue are tested for HIV. Health care workers, such as nurses, risk getting infected if they are stuck with a needle containing infected blood or splashed with infected blood in the eyes, nose, mouth, or on open cuts or sores. In a few cases, a person sharing a house with a person with HIV infection or taking care of a person with AIDS has become infected themselves. These infections may have been caused by sharing a razor, getting blood from the infected person into open cuts or sores, or some other way of having contact with blood from the infected person. If you are taking care of a person with HIV infection, carefully follow the steps on protecting yourself from infection discussed later.

How HIV is NOT Spread

You don't get HIV from the air, food, water, insects, animals, dishes, knives, forks, spoons, toilet seats, or anything else that doesn't involve blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk. You don't get HIV from feces, nasal fluid, saliva, sweat, tears, urine, or vomit, unless these have blood mixed in them. You can help people with HIV eat, dress, even bathe, without becoming infected yourself, as long as you follow the steps described later in the section on "Protecting Yourself" later in this brochure. You do get other germs from many of the things listed above, so do use common sense.



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