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Did I give HIV to my mother?
Jul 8, 2010

Hey Dr. Thank you for answering my question. It is causing me considerable anxiety. I was diagnosed HIV+ 3 years ago. Before I was diagnosed, I had MRSA. My mother thought we should squeeze one of the boils on my back. She used a paper towel, but said only clear liquid came out. I decided to get an HIV test because it seemed like I was having a hard time kicking the MRSA, and also because I was having problems with diarrhea. After I was diagnosed, I remembered my mom helping me with my boil, and was scared maybe she got it from me. My viral load at the time of diagnoses was around 50,000. If she came in contact with any fluid from the boil it would have been minimal, because I distinctly remember her saying nothing would come out, that it was just a hard lump, just some clear liquid when she pushed really hard. Anyway... fast forward three years later, I am on meds and doing fine. My mom, on the other hand is having a lot of problems with diarrhea, for unexplained reasons. Her Dr. gave her xanax because he thought it was from nerves and stress... which is EXACTLY what my DR. said to me, before I had an HIV test. I have not told my parents about my status because they could not even handle me being gay. My mom has excellend healthcare, so I have been hoping she has had an HIV test in the past three years, but am not sure if that is standard practice or not. Anyway... I am really scared I gave it to my mom, and she is starting to get sick because it would never occur to her or her doctors to check for it. Please let me know your thoughts on this. I think it is kind of a legitimate concern, at least compared to some of the crazy far out questions you get on here. Thanks a lot.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Although the chances your mother could contract HIV from the episode you describe are beyond remote, I would still suggest you disclose your HIV status to her. If the situation were reversed, would't you want to know? Read through the chapter in the archives devoted to "disclosure." The information there may help should you choose to disclose your status to your mom. Once you've disclosed, you can recommend she get an HIV-antibody test, primarily for your (and her) peace of mind.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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