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DayCare Staff Anxiety

Mar 1, 2009

I work at a daycare, and I come in contact with kids bloody noses, knees and everything else they scrape. My question is, if any of these kids have HIV am I being safe if all I use are those plastic (not latex) gloves like the one's they use at Subway to clean up their blood? I've worked there for many years, and sometimes I don't even use gloves, I'm just very careful by either giving them their own tissue for the bloody nose, but I do grab the bloody tissue from them but with only the very tips of my fingers. I don't recall having any cuts that would be an entrance for blood. If there were cuts, just the skin around my nail. I have a bad habit of biting the skin, or a paper cut, NOT a huge gash or wound.

I believe the last time I came in contact with a child's blood was May 29, 2008 and got tested the last time August 26, 2008. (between may 29 and aug 26th I had 5 oral swab rapid tests done) But Aug 26th was the final test. The doctor said it's considered 3 months conclusive. Is this true?

And is children having HIV very common?

My supervisor says I shouldn't worry, but she recommended this website and wanted me to tell you she will donate on behalf of me, and I will send some of my own money as well, all I really need is closure.

Thank you Dr. Bob!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your supervisor is correct: Your HIV worries are unwarranted. HIV, which would be highly unlikely in these daycare kids, cannot permeate intact skin. So unless there is significant fresh blood to fresh blood, your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent.

Regarding HIV testing, yes, a negative test at the three-month mark is considered definitive and conclusive. Five rapid tests during that same three-month window period are highly excessive and totally unwarranted. Your question and excessive testing reflect an irrational fear of HIV resulting in anxiety. I would suggest you spend some time perusing the archives of this forum. We have entire chapters on HIV nonsexual prevention, HIV nonsexual transmission and a variety of related topics. Pay particular attention to exactly how HIV is and is not transmitted. We also have a chapter on HIV testing that you should visit. A single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark following a potential exposure is all that is recommended for most situations. Tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered definitive and conclusive.

If my reassurance plus reading the information in the archives is not sufficient for you to shake your worries, I'd suggest you consider psychological counseling to help you confront and conquer your irrational and unwarranted HIV fears.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Dubai Distressed Dude (DDD) , with a brand-new anxiety!!!
Flying Blood

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