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Begging you to answer!!
Apr 23, 2009

Hi Doctor,

I've checked the archives for a similar question countless times but I can't find a similar question to mine. This experience has left me deeply frightened and I hope that you would advise on my risk for infection.

I think I may have been exposed to HIV/Hepatitis through blood-to-blood, cut-to-cut contact.

Went to the college canteen and bought a meal about a week ago. The vendor had a plaster around her finger and when making payment my finger touched that general area briefly, I felt something wet. I didn't think anything of it then, but soon dried my finger on my shirt. Three things that made me consider exposure:

1. I had an insect bite in the area of contact, but i don't think I had scratched it to the point of bleeding. Later at night, I noticed what seemed to be a cut in the general area of my cuticle. Not sure if my finger was bleeding at the time of contact.

2. Shortly after the purchase, I believe I saw some redness in that area, could it be blood? I did not inspect that area closely.

3. But the vendor went back to handling/cutting some vegetables almost immediately after that.

Realistically speaking, would you agree that the vendor would have had to be bleeding quite severely to transfer a significant amount of blood (as described above)? Yet the circumstances do not seem to match the scenario of the person having been actively bleeding. (Handling food with an open wound, already having put on a plaster in the general area.) I'm quite confused as to whether this constitutes an exposure or not. Several days later, I started to experience mild abdominal discomfort/slight pain, in the upper region.

Three questions: 1. Am I at risk for infection by EITHER of the above two diseases? 2. Should I get tested? 3. Could the symptoms be related to either disease?

Please reply, I'm at my wits' end and I can't carry on with life properly. This frightening experience ruining my daily life.

PEP Dude

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello PEP Dude,

Your fears are totally unwarranted. Responding to your specific questions:

1. No.

2. No.

3. No.

Dr. Bob



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