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I beg you please answer 3rd or 4th time I sent message/cut and brush
Jun 9, 2009

Hi, please help. At this point I think I have gone into full desperation and depression. I don't eat, sleep and the only things I do all day is cry and think of the probabilities that I got something from that brush. Please this is the 3rd time I have sent you this message. Please please please answer me.

I have a few questions and one of them is going to seem a little ridiculous but before you dismiss it please hear me out. A few years back I was in a gasoline station and stepped on a used syringe. I was taken to the hospital and put on a medication protocol for a few months. After the medication protocol I was tested and everything came back good. However, ever since that incident I am extremely frightened and paranoid about anything with blood. So here is my first question:

1- I am getting ready to go on my honeymoon which is 4 days so I went to the beauty salon to do my nails. While the girl was filing one of my nails she unintentionally cut me on the side of one of my nails which bled. After she finished filing she told me to wash my hands in a sink they have and so I did. While washing my hands with water I used a little brush they have to clean any excess dust of the nails including the nail with the cut (the brush was sitting face down on the sink, with no disinfectant or anything and I think it was wet). I did not realize my mistake after it was to late. I am extremely worried about the wet brush, not so much about the nail file because it was dry. Could I get HIV like this? If someone in the same situation as me used the brush before me and also had a cut could I get something from them? I know no one used the brush for at least half an hour before me because I was sitting near the sink and no one used it for at least half an hour or more and I think I did put my hands under running water after I used the brush but I cannot be 100% sure of that. Please be honest. I am 28 and at last found the man of my dreams and we are going on our honeymoon this week and I am scared that I will not be able to make love to him without getting him sick. I know we could use condoms but we have been waiting so long to at last be married and make love without protection for a change. I really want to be able to enjoy my honeymoon and not think I am sick the whole time I am there and worry about getting him sick too. Please help. We both have our hepatitis vaccinations so I am not worried about that.

My other questions are:

2- If I was by any chance sick with HIV, what are the average years of life that someone who started treatment medication from really early on could have? I know it is different from person to person but I just want the average, give or take a few years. I cannot find an answer in the Internet.

3- If I was sick and did get my husband sick too, could we still have a healthy baby? I heard of something called washing of the sperms does this work and is it true?

I know I am jumping ahead of myself with these two last questions. But please answer them anyways even if you think there is now way I could of gotten sick like that. Please answer all of them with all honesty even if it will ruin my honeymoon. Thank you sooooo much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

It's four days until your honeymoon and you've fallen into "full desperation and depression," not eating or sleeping. Plus, you are crying all day because you are concerned about a small cut you received while getting a manicure? WOWZA!!! Shouldn't most brides be well ensconced in their "serenity bubble" dreaming of a blissful life with their Prince Charming four days before the honeymoon??? It seems to me that you've got some major psychological issues that require prompt attention.

I agree you are indeed "extremely frightened and paranoid." These fears are completely irrational and totally unwarranted.

To address your specific questions:

1. Your HIV-acquisition risk from this incident is nonexistent.

2. (and 3.) I agree you are getting way, way, way ahead of yourself with these two questions. I've addressed life expectancy and pregnancy issues (as well as manicure issues!) many times in the past. You can review that information in the archives if you so desire. I see absolutely no point in regurgitating it again here in light of your non-exposure!

I strongly urge you to seek psychotherapy (counseling) to help you confront and hopefully conquer your irrational HIV fears. If you don't, I doubt you'll ever find your "happily-ever-after."

Dr. Bob



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