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Contact lenses????
Aug 10, 2009

OK this may sound silly but I am a little concerned. You provide a great service here and I am hoping you can clear this up for me. I have searched in the archives and what I found is not exactly the situation I found myself in.

About 3 weeks ago I was at a bookstore shopping when a lady next to me stated her contact lens had fallen out of her eye and asked me if I could help her look for it. I quickly located it and picked it up to give it back to her. My allergies were bad that day and I remember my eyes itching a lot. Without thinking about it, a couple of minutes later I rubbed the corner of my eye because it was itching. In searching the archives, what I found regarding contact lenses involved lenses that had been soaking in solution, not fresh out of someone's eye.

I didn't think much about it until now because a few things are happening. I was flossing and noticed some white stuff on my tonsils, and had a sore throat. Assuming it was strep I got a test and it was negative. The doctor stated she wasn't sure if it was thrush or not but it got me worried, because I also had developed a fever and non-itchy rash on my left forearm the same time, which had been there about a week before, went away, then came back. I am concerned, and probably overreacting, but I just felt the need to ask because when I searched for thrush, rash, and fever a lot of HIV material emerged. But I haven't had any sexual relations since my last yearly HIV test (unfortunately! LOL) and the only thing I could think of even remotely would be this "exposure" to a stranger's contact lens. So:

1. Do you think that coming into contact with the lens fresh from her mucous membrane on her eye, then touching MY eye's mucous membrane could cause transmission if the woman happened to have HIV (and yes I know the chances are slim, but I am worried).

2. Do ARS symptoms happen all together, or do they come and go, like my rash has? Do you think I have any reason to worry or get tested?

Any answers you may have would be a great help, considering it is still to early to get tested. If your answer is that my experience is negligible I won't even worry about testing. I know tears aren't an infectious fluid, but since contact lenses actually come in contact with the mucous layer of the eye itself I am curious if this contact is considered risky.

You provide an awesome service here and I will donate when I get my next paycheck! Thank you so much.

Sincerely, Hopefully unneccisarily worried...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

1. No, absolutely not.

2. ARS symptoms are quite variable from case to case. Your HIV-acquisition risk is completely nonexistent. Testing is not warranted.

Be well. Stay well. Stop worrying.

Dr. Bob



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