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Donated but no response yet!3rd time asking.IM BEGGING YOU PLS!
Nov 29, 2009

Hi Dr Bob, I want to start off by saying that I come to you because I know you are the absolute best in this area. This is the reason why I am now asking this question for the 3rd time. I had a situation occur on Wednesday night which is really freaking me out. I can't sleep or eat properly. I did call the Aids hotline and I advised them of what happened and they reasurred me my risk is non-existent. However, I feel the need to get an answer from you as I know you answer questions to their entirety. This is what happened: On Wednesday night, my husband and I went to a fast food restaurant. I asked the cashier behind the counter wearing no gloves to give me 2 packets of mayonnaise which she placed in our food tray. Following that, my husband and I immediately sat down and started eating our food. Right away, I unwrapped my burger and placed the mayonnaise packet in my mouth to tear it open as I was having trouble opening it with my hands. I then spead the mayonnaise all over my burger and then placed the empty packet back down on the tray. I immediately noticed there was some blood on the mayonnaise packet which I assume gave from the cashier's hand. The area that had the blood was the exact same area of the packet that I placed in my mouth to tear it open.I now fear I can get hiv this way. Please note, i have extremely chapped lips that do bleed every day because I peel at them. The aids hotline told me even if I was bleeding at the time of placing the packet in my mouth my risk is non-existent as the packet was exposed to air.I know the blood did not come from me. So, if I was bleeding in my mouth at that exact same time or on my lips, is it true my risk is still non-existent? I want to mention that I placed the packet in my mouth immediately after we sat down. Dr Bob, you may be asking why I am coming to you after calling the hotline. It is because I soley trust YOUR answer. I know you dedicate your life to preventing the spread of hiv and I believe in you. Please Dr Bob, your answer is greatly appreciated in this manner. What is my level of risk? is it non-existent and if so, can you please explain why?Is an hiv test required?If you say it is not, I will put this behind me.I promise. Thanking you in advance.

Worried Sick

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Worried Sick,

If you combine the various components of your potential HIV exposure together, the risk is so remote that it becomes essentially nonexistent. Consequently, I absolutely concur with the assessment you received from the AIDS hotline. The "various components" include:

1. Red blotches on the packets of mayo may have been ketchup or jungle red nail polish.

2. Even if it was blood, the chances the cashier is HIV infected would be remote.

3. Even if it was blood and she was HIV infected, HIV does not live long outside the body.

4. Even if it was blood, she was HIV infected and the blood was very fresh, the chance you transferred enough blood to result in HIV transmissions would be extremely remote (even with your chapped lips).

These are only some of the various confounding variables. If you add these together, hopefully you'll accept the fact that your HIV risk is nonexistent. HIV testing is not medically warranted. However, if the information you received from the AIDS hotline coupled with my second opinion is not sufficient for you to shake your (unwarranted) fears, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative. However if it helps you to put these totally unwarranted and completely irrational fears permanently to rest, it may be worth the effort psychologically.

Thanks for your tax-deductible donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated, especially during this Thanksgiving season.

Be well. Stop worrying.

Dr. Bob



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