I know What You're Thinking Dr. Bob (...and its not because I'm psychic)
Jan 5, 2010
Hi Dr. Bob: I promise this is the last time I am going to bother you (and in an effort to redeem myself I returned a few Christmas presents in order to make another donation). So in the weeks following my manicure, my finger developed a nasty infection, which was assessed by a doctor as staph and is now being treated with antibiotics. This, of course, brought back all my fears about the manicure incident...so much so that each time I go to breastfeed my baby I have flashbacks of bloody cuticle clippers slicing my fingers. I have started to think... what if the cuticle cutters were only wiped with nailpolich remover? What if they were wiped only with water? What if they weren't wiped at all and specks of blood remained from a previous client? A lot of "what ifs" I know. Can you please comment on my risk (or lack thereof) in light of the what ifs. I promise this is the last time. I can also confirm the baby has been fed (though no longer receives any kisses as I developed a massive cold sore from the stress of this situation and don't want to pass that on to her either).
Thanks again in anticipation (both for your patience with me and for just being who you are).
Response from Dr. Frascino
Actually, you probably don't know what I'm thinking!!! I'm thinking how uncomfortable it must be for you (and many others with similarly unwarranted worries) to go through life battling such anxiety, "what-iffing" yourself into states of panic or depression, despite the reality of the situation, which is that your fears are totally irrational! Your "what-ifs" notwithstanding, your HIV-acquisition risk from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre manicure remains essentially nonexistent. I just can't say it any plainer or more straightforwardly than that.
My assessment and advice remain completely unchanged.
Happy 2010. Stop worrying about this nonexistent problem!
Funky Blue Liquid (Gave Up on Dr. Google...Need Dr. Bob) Dec 25, 2009
Dear Dr. Bob:
I got my Christmas wish...you answered my question! I hope I'm not pushing my luck by asking another but its not in the archives (I just spent the last six hours searching). I previously told you about my visit to the Mani-Pedi Salon from Hell (which left me too scared to breastfeed my 9 week old). At that time I failed to mention that after they sliced my finger, they suddenly grabbed a small bottle containing a mysterious blue liquid which they pressed onto my bloody wound and squirted in. It stopped the bleeding within seconds. Dr. Google suggests it is likely a liquid syptic (whatever that is). All I can tell you is it burned!!! Problem...I'm certain they have touched the bloody wounds of every other poor victim they butchered before squeezing the (contaminated) liquid into my cut. Need your help...is my risk still non-existant? PS. I promise once I receive this answer I will get off the computer and feed the baby. My donation has been sent. A portion of whatever money I receive as gifts this Christmas will also follow. Thank you again.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Is your risk still nonexistent? Yep! HIV doesn't survive in "funky blue liquid" (or purple, chartreuse, magenta, or any other color either!).
Go feed the baby and stop worrying. You're fine and that kid is starving!
Apparently breastfed babies are smarter...Dec 22, 2009
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
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.
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