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My Bloody Guitar Lesson
Oct 11, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob!

I hope the title intrigued you enough to read/respond. I do not want to make light of my (hopefully unwarrented) FREAK OUT that I've having right now. Today I was in a guitar lesson & I have cuts on my hands. None of them are bleeding or have been bleeding (they're from dry skin). We were changing my guitar strings and he poked his finger on one of the strings. His finger was bleeding and he just rubbed the blood away & kept replacing the strings. I am TERRIFIED! I am afraid that I have contracted HIV through his blood on the guitar strings and then having played them with hands that have cuts on them. Please help. I am FREAKING OUT. I start to cry every time I think about it. I'm begging for your help.

Information I Left Out (My Bloody Guitar Lesson) (Submitted Oct 2, 2009)

Dr. Bob, Sorry, I forgot to include this in the previous post of this question...While my teacher & I were changing my strings, I poked MY finger & it was bleeding. I put a Band-Aid on it & came back to the lesson. However, I realized after my lesson had ended that the Band-Aid may not have been covering my cut (that was only about 10 minutes old, but no longer bleeding). To summarize for you, would the blood that my professor had on his fingers gotten onto the strings that I touched with, on one finger, and fresh open cut and/or the dryness "cuts" on my hands. I'm sorry to throw all of this probably useless information to you, but I'm really really scared. Thank you so much. I love & respect what you do so much. I will definitely be donating to your foundation.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Relax Max. Your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent. Your teacher would have to be HIV positive (unlikely) and you would have had to get a significant amount of fresh HIV-positive blood directly into an open wound (extremely unlikely). Your fears are unwarranted. HIV testing is not medically warranted, but if my reassurance is not sufficient for you to shake your worries, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The results will undoubtedly be negative, but if it puts your residual fears permanently to rest, it may be worth the effort psychologically.

Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that you remain HIV negative. Now stop worrying and go practice your guitar!!!

Be well. Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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