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HIV on mail
Jun 19, 2009

I have read and read about how HIV cannot survive outside the body-however I have an OCD unnatural fear of blood and AIDS...I will disinfect things like crazy. Here is my dillema today-I was reading the Sunday paper going through the coupons-on the circular for a store, there was a bright red dot on the edge of the circular that had bled through all 6 pages. I was hoping it was a red marker, but the ocd in me won't let it go...and so in my mind it is blood that soaked through all of the circular. My husband had picked up the paper last night. Now I want to know what all he touched, the paper was opened up on the dining room table and I disinfected it, only to feel like everything on the table was "infected", including me...and I have a little one year old son that makes my fears of contracting and passing it on to him worse. IF this was blood, and it was on the circular that was probably put into the paper box on Saturday night, could when my husband picked it up on Sunday night and when I looked on Monday morning-could it have caused any need for all this disinfection I went through today? Please help put my mind at ease-this kind of thing happens all the time to me..... Thank you!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The HIV-acquisition risk from your "HIV on mail" concerns is completely nonexistent. Your problem is OCD, not HIV. If indeed "this kind of thing happens all the time to (you)," I would strongly suggest you seek psychotherapy (counseling) to help you confront and cope with these completely irrational and totally unwarranted fears surrounding blood and HIV. Of course the other alternative would be to buy stock in the company that makes your disinfectant!

Good luck. Stop worrying. Stop disinfecting. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. OK?

Dr. Bob



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