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Please help, my daughter is anxious. She needs answers
Mar 30, 2010

Dr. Bob, My daughter is 21 and with all the talk of catching hiv and such through sex ed in school years ago she has become PARANOID. I have her seeing a therapist, but I am hoping if she reads your answer it will help. We were at a local chain store buying Easter basket items, candy, movies, and such. We got to the checkout and she began to unload the basket. She picked up a movie style box of candy and there was something clear and sticky on it and she got it all over her hands. Sher put it up to her nose and couldn't tell what it was. She couldn't wash her hands right away due to the bathroom having a overflowing toilet, what are the chances. I had Pureel wipes in the car and she wiped her hands. She had a gash on her hand due to a fall in a spoting event that morning. She began to cry hysterically saying she knows it was semen and she now has hiv. That only someone who wanted to infect someone would do that, put it on a candy box. I had nothing in my cart that was leaking or could have leaked. We got home and she went through every bag , 300 hundred dollars worth of stuff, and smelled everyhting and felt everyhting. One box of candy and a box of granola bars seemed to have something on it. She smellled and felt that and began to get more anxious. She put everyhting back in the bags and wants me TO TAKE IT ALL BACK. Can you please let me know IF that were semen or some toher bodily fluid would it even infect her? I told her, and I am not in the medical field, that even even if someone had done that 4 minutes before she touched it SHE HAD NO RISK! Please help me with this, for one thing the thought of taking this all back aggravates me. I got some good sale items, hehehe. Thank you and I am willing to send a hefty donation just so my daughter has piece of mind. Much love from the South.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I can only imagine what type of sex education your daughter might have received in school! Science-based, age-appropriate sex education provides knowledge and reassurance; it doesn't scare the bejesus out of you!

Your daughter's fears are completely irrational and totally unwarranted. HIV is a fragile virus, not radioactive kryptonite! Frevinsakes! HIV does not survive outside the body, even in an Easter basket!

There is no reason to take your bargains back to the store! There are, however, very good reasons for having your daughter continue with her psychotherapy. She needs help confronting and conquering her irrational fears. She should bring a copy of this post with her to her next session and discuss it with her therapist. It may well help to focus her treatment and speed her recovery.

Good luck. Happy Easter.

Dr. Bob



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