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Apparently breastfed babies are smarter...
Dec 22, 2009

Dr. Bob: I asked a question a few years ago and sent a donation, following which you were kind enough to send me a thank you note and DVD. So here I am, seeking your guidance again. After a tough pregnancy I decided to get a manicure. The not so talented manicurist proceeded to cut a chunk of skin from my finger. A bloody mess ensued. I proceeded to ask her how she sterilizes the cuticle cutter thing. She showed me how she puts some alcohol on a cotton ball and wipes it clean. YES...I was shocked too. My appointment was late in the day so she had MANY clients before me. I'm a little (OK A LOT) worried because I have a 9 week old baby who needs to eat. What are the chances of HIV or Hepatitis infection from this incident. A starving child (and her frantic mom) desperately need an answer (and another donation is en route).

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

The not-so-talented manicurist cut a chunk of skin from your finger and caused a bloody mess??? OUCHAMAGOUCHA! Well, despite the great prices, in the future I'd suggest you steer clear of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Mani-and-Pedi Salon.

Even though your manicure wound up looking like a scene from a Quentin Tarantino film, your only real health risk would be anemia from blood lost. Even an alcohol-soaked cotton ball wipe is sufficient (although perhaps not optimal) to ensure manicure tools do not transmit germs (including HIV and hepatitis). There is no reason for you to stop breastfeeding you nine-week-old or to be a "frantic mom." As you might imagine, there are lots of klutzy manicurists who nick their clients while preparing them for their "Jungle Red" Streisand nails. If this posed a significant risk for HIV, we would certainly know over a quarter of a century into the AIDS pandemic. Remember, HIV doesn't live very long outside the body. Add to that the alcohol wipe and combined your theoretical risk for viral transmission becomes so remote that it's essentially nonexistent.

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

Be well. Happy Holidays.

Dr. Bob



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