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I'm new to this.
Apr 7, 2009

My 18 year old nephew just got diagnosed this year with HIV. I feel so helpless because I no nothing about the virus. I had an incident yesterday where he and I were talking, and he coughed right in my face. I could feel the air from the cough go RIGHT INTO my eye. If there was blood in his mouth from a bitten tongue or cheek would this cause infection?

I checked my eye in my mirror about 5 minutes later and didn't see any splats of blood on my face, but what if it already made it's way into my eye?

I will donate $50 for the answer the this question. I want to educate myself doctor, please. I want to hug my nephew and kiss him like I used to. Please help me..us.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello "New to this",

Twenty-eight years into the pandemic that has snuffed out over 25,000,000 lives and infected more than 60,000,000 people worldwide and you "know nothing about the virus????" Auntie where have you been for the past quarter century???? It's unfortunate that it takes a family member or personal friend becoming infected with HIV before many people give this epic ongoing human tragedy a second thought!

I am glad you've decided (albeit belatedly) to get informed! You've come to the right place. There is a wealth of information on this site, in its archives and on the related links. Start with the easily accessible basic information on The Body's homepage. That's a good basic primer. From there you can proceed onto the forums. The archives of this forum, for instance, have entire chapters devoted to non-sexual HIV transmission and non-sexual HIV prevention. You should find the information there both enlightening and reassuring. The chances you were infected as a consequence of your nephew's cough are nonexistent.

As for your desire to hug and kiss your nephew like you used to, please go right ahead! There is absolutely no HIV-transmission risk from this type of casual contact. In fact give him a hug and kiss from me as well. In addition make sure he knows about this Web site. There is a considerable amount of information here that he may well find extremely helpful. Perhaps the two of you can explore this site together. I'm confident it would prove not only beneficial but also perhaps entertaining and enlightening!

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. We'll use your donation to help promote HIV awareness, education and prevention so that other loving aunties won't be caught unaware if their huggable/kissable nephew or niece tests HIV positive!

Good luck. I'm here if you or your nephew needs me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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