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Thank You Dr. Bob -- Taking your Advice and Seeking Help is the best thing I ever Done.
Jul 20, 2010

Dear Dr. Bob,

You were right. I needed help. I am now seeing somebody about my irrational fears and have been to two appointments as we speak. I have printed out everything you were nice enough to post for me so they could see the horrible pattern I am in. I feel it working but it is going to take time to get over all this and never think about it again. In the mean time I do have another question. The therapist thought it would be good when I come up with a little thing here and there I could ask you because you are the expert in this field. I promise Dr. Bob, I will not bug you or be a pest.

I see that you are probably vacationing or that you are away on business because it has been a little while since you answered peoples questions. I will wait for an answer from you.

May I please have your permission to post one of my last questions and would you be so kind to answer it for me. I will wait for an answer of permission. I will make another donation at the beginning of the month because that is when I do my giving to Foundations. At the first of the month. It makes things easier for my accounting.

Thank You Dr. Bob.

We Love you and We Thank God everyday that he put you here to help our pour souls.

With much Thanks and Love, Cynthia

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Cynthia,

I'm delighted to hear your attending to your problem and getting the help you need to confront and conquer your irrational fears.

Thanks for your support of my foundation, The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

As for reposting questions, you are certainly welcome to do so. I can't, however, promise to answer each time you "come up with a little thing here and there," as I'm sure you realize there are innumerable situations that arise on a continual basis for those suffering from HIV paranoia. In addition chances are excellent I've already addressed the situation (or a very similar situation) and those responses are available in the archives. Also, now that I know you're getting the help you need, if I do have the opportunity to respond, it will probably be a very brief comment, such as "no risk." It's important to realize your problem is fear, not HIV. Consequently you need to focus on that with your psychotherapist. Detailed explanations about no-risk situations from me is not the answer to your problem. We've been down that road already, right? It didn't get you very far. I'll help when I can, but I'm not a psychiatrist and your problem is psychological. I am an HIV specialist, but your problem is not HIV. OK?

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob

Dr Bob. PLEASE HELP! My Mother caused this incident - AM I NUTS? Jul 5, 2010

Dr. Bob,

I am back for a quick return visit and a new question and another follow up donation. I have a similar experience from before but this is much deeper. After this, do you think I am nuts or messed up to think this way? I am having anxiety over this and really do not know what to do or where to go with this haunting experience. Remember, I live in Arizona where it is HOTT. I took my mother out to see fireworks and bought some food and took it with us in the plastic bag from the store. Once we got home from the fireworks, I went and threw the food in the bag, in the garbage can outside (on wheels) at our house. I have been wearing a bandage on my thumb and first finger since the last time I visited your site. I had some skin tags removed and the doctor wanted me to keep my hands covered till today. So there is a cut and pulled back skin that stings on my thumb and first finger around my finger nails and the top of my finger. LIKE IT HURTS! Tonight is the first night I took the bandage off again. Now, not only do I have a sore scab, but I also have some very sore pulled back skin on my thumb and first finger. PRETTY MUCH ALL OVER. It stings a lot. We do have people that go through garbage cans here. Don't know what they are looking for. My question is, if a person who has HIV+ just went through and has been touching my garbage and digging around all inside the can and he/she was grabbing on everything THE LID AND INSIDE OF THE CAN, and if seconds went by, and now I threw out the garbage from the fireworks in that can. My mother starts freaking out and screaming saying she has something she needs in the bag. So now this bag I threw in the garbage has touched everywhere in the can and I have to dig in there immediately and pull it out.,,, which I did. BARE HANDED WITH THE HAND WITH THE INJURIES ON THEM. OUCH! - Remember I have my bandages off so everything is exposed ,, A OPEN scab that hurts and some very stingy pulled back skin on two fingers which I pulled the bag out with. What are my chances of catching HIV from this incident? It's too dark for me to see the lid of the garbage can and am now paranoid because before this when it was light out, I saw lots of stains on the lid and handles of the garbage can.. Please help me with this as I had to dig in the can when it is now dark outside and touch everywhere. What are the real chances of catching HIV if what happened above did indeed happen right then and there. I wouldn't bother you with this but a lot of homeless go through the cans at all times. Assuming this just happened before I went and touched the can inside and out, and the person is HIV+ What are the real chances of catching the HIV virus from this? Again, lots of stains on the lid the handles, plus I was inside the can and the bag touched EVERYWHERE inside, along with my injured hand- what if the stains are any kind of fluids including blood and I just touched it with my un-bandage injuries. Thank You Dr. Bob and another donation will be on its way,

Cynthia

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Cynthia,

OK, now it's official. Your HIV paranoia is once again OOC (out of control). The HIV risk from your most recent fantasy-worry is completely nonexistent. Remember the hot Arizona climate and HIV being a fragile virus from your last worry? (See below.) It's time for you to seek psychiatric help in confronting your completely irrational fears. As I have mentioned previously unwarranted and irrational HIV fears tend to recur if they are not tended to with proper treatment (psychotherapy). To prove the point, I'll reprint some of your previous posts below. Print them all and show them to your psychiatrist. It will help focus your treatment and speed your recovery.

Dr. Bob

Please Help me with this DR. Bob and I hope this doesn't qualify me as a Loonie !! Jun 29, 2010

Dr. Bob,

I am back for a return visit and a new question and a follow up doantion. My concern is that I live in Arizona where it is HOTT. I went to the Garbage today to push out the recyclables. Pick up is on Monday mornings. you know the blue garbage can on wheels. I have been wearing a bandage on my thumb for a week now because I had a cut on my thumb. Tonight is the first night I took the bandage off. Now, not only do I have a sore scab, but I also have some very sore pulled back skin on my thumb and first finger. It stings a lot. We do have people that go through garbage cans here. Don't know what they are looking for. My question is, if a person who has HIV+ just went through and has been touching my garbage can and he/she was grabbing on everything THE LID AND THE HANDLES, and I went out there to push it to the curb - Remember I have my bandage off ,, A OPEN scab that hurts and some very stingy pulled back skin on two fingers. What are my chances of catching HIV from this incident? I did look at the handles and the lid of the garbage can and am now paranoid because I saw lots of stains on the lid and handles. Please help me sort this one out. What are the real chances of catching HIV if what happened above did indeed happen right then and there. I wouldn't bother you with this but a lot of homeless go through the cans at all times. Assuming this just happened before I went and touched the can and the person is HIV+ What are the real chances of catching the HIV virus from this? Again, lots of stains on the lid the handles- what if the stains are any kind of fluids including blood and I just touched it with my un-bandage injurys. Thank You Dr. Bob and a donation will be on its way, Cynthia

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Cynthia from Arizona,

"What are the real chances of catching HIV if what happened above did indeed happen right then and there?" Even with all your remote hypothetical coincidences (bleeding HIV-positive homeless people rummaging through your toter just before your arrived, etc.), your HIV-acquisition risk remains nonexistent. Remember, HIV is a very fragile virus that doesn't survive outside the body and certainly not in the Arizona heat!

Relax Cynthia. All is well, including you.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

Dr. Bob

OH WELL DR BOB ,, NOT ONLY AM I BACK ,, I CANT SPELL EITHER --- LETS TRY THIS ONE !! Feb 27, 2010

Dr. Bob,

Here's the deal. I make lollipops for a living. Truly I do. One of my workers during the day had cut herself. She was bleeding. Now she doesn't work with the lollipops (production) she is a desk person.

I had a band aid on my own finger due to a paper cut. Later that early evening. A good hour and a half later I was sucking on a red lollipop, (great visual huh). At that time I was also listening in on a conference call. Didn't think much it, but I saw some red on the outside of my band aid and thinking it was from the lollipop -- I licked it off. I truly believe it was from the lollipop because it tasted like it. Not an iron taste like blood.

So here is my question, and I'm sure you know where I am going with this. Lets just say it was blood from the lady earlier. Let's assume she is HIV + and after about an hour and 45 minutes what if,, what I licked was dried blood. What are my chances of catching HIV this way?

Simple question for you Dr. Bob.

Hope you are doing well and as always,

We Love Ya!!!

Cynthia :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Cynthia,

I had the feeling you would be back with yet another worry.

Remember how I told you last time your risk was absolutely nonexistent? Well your current risk is even more nonexistent than that.

I reiterate my advice that you get psychotherapy (counseling) to help you cope with your totally whacked-out and completely irrational fears of HIV. As you can see, without psychological/psychiatric treatment, these unwarranted and irrational fears tend to recur.

Dr. Bob

Crhsitmas Donation has Left the Building -- with Elvis -- Please look at last question. Dec 19, 2009

Dr. Bob,

Ok ,, I admit it. I guess we all have our hang ups ,,, Im a nut job about this. At least I admit it. So here is the deal with all my issues.

May - Took 10 min Test - Neg.

September - Took DNA PCR - Neg

That dental issue happened on 11-11

Dec 15 -- Took another 10 minute -- Neg and also took another DNA PCR awaiting the results tomorrow.

So what you are saying is that this test will be another Neg.

I have not been with anybody since September.

Head Examined -- Not yet :)

So you think that my resutls that will come back tomorrow will be ???

Uggh,, Sorry for all the questions -- but you are the only one I trust, and my anxiety is running wild waiting for the results.

Thank You, Enjoy the Donation Cynthia (wink)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again Winking Cynthia,

Even though I don't recommend PCR testing for routine HIV screening, yes, I remain absolutely confident your test will again be "undetectable," because your HIV risk was nonexistent. I just can't say it any more straightforwardly than that.

I still urge the "head examination" route for you. Your anxiety is indeed "running wild"!

Dr. Bob

Christmas Donation for a little hellp Dec 16, 2009

I am still anxious over something that probably doesn't even make sense that you told me at one time is non-existent. So my question is. If I decide to get a HIV-DNA-PCR test and I take Lexapro for anxiety and .5 Xanex to help me with my sleep. Will these two medications mess up this test. Should I not take these for 72 hrs and then test ,,, What should I do. I know this is a sensitive test and I do not want to mess this up.

Plus now I have a little thing going on in my throat and am taking Amoxicillin for it. Don't know what it is, but that is what I am taking. Can all this stuff going through my system give me a false result. Could the little throat thingy mess up the test as well? I am totally confused.

With alll these little things going on with me as above--- if I take this test --- will anything mess up the test itself?

Just need to know if by taking these medications if this will still give me a accurate reading. I don't need any false anything's at this point and time.

Or should I wait and how long should I wait if I want to take this test. And should I stop taking everything for a few days. If so, how many days??

Looking forward to your answer, Cynthia

My situation is below:

Posted here again, -- When I touched the cellophane ,,overhead lamp and switch, which was not changed to new yet. The person was not finished with his appointment -- so again anything could of splashed there. (blood, saliva, puss, teeth, ect...) Here is my final question. That same morning I woke up and my cuticle on my index finger had some dry blood around it and it was stinging. ( maybe pushed back to far). I don't know if that happened the day before or that morning. So I bandaged it up and worked out at the gym that morning. After my shower, took off the band aid and the blood mark was gone. But my finger was still stinging. So maybe some tender, not yet healed skin there. I do not know if it was open or not ,, That was at 6 am ,, I saw this gentleman at the dentist at 9 am. .... AGAIN -- BARE HANDED --- I touched the lamp and the cellophane over it ,, the lamp and the switch with that same hand. --- I forgot to mention this in my last question to you.

KNOWING AND ADDING THIS -- What are the chances of catching the HIV virus in this situation?

Again , The cellophane was not changed because he was still in the seat. So the light had been touched by gloves that had been in that mans mouth. And to add, What about anything that could of splashed on the lights or the switch out of his. With my Bare Hands Dr. Frascino. Is this any exposure?? Again, His appointment was not done and I touched the lamp and switch a few times. I touched the cellophane bare handed -- no gloves --- nothing. Who knows a while after that I might have put my finger in my mouth, rubbed my eye ,, or even picked inside my nose. What are any chances to catch HIV then???? Remember the thing about my index finger.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again Cynthia,

I absolutely agree: You are anxious over something that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. You are also correct that I have repeatedly advised you that your risk is nonexistent and that HIV testing is not warranted. No matter how many times you ask, my assessment and advice will not change. Likewise, no matter how scared and anxious you are, the reality of the situation will not change. HIV is not your problem. I have also advised you that Xanax and Lexapro will not affect HIV test results (including HIV DNA PCR and/or HIV-antibody tests). The same holds true for Amoxicillin and your "throat thingy". They will not mess up your test results!

By the way, whatever happened to your promise of "one last question . . ."? (See below.) Cynthia, I think it's time (past time really) for you to seek psychological or psychiatric help. Your irrational fears are persisting and you need help to confront and conquer them.

Good luck. Happy Holidays.

Dr. Bob

One Last Question and Ill Donate Again -- Trying to understand this whole PEP thing Nov 25, 2009

Dear Dr Frascino,

I looked through your Forum and was trying to understand this whope PEP thing.

I am still bugging (asking) my Dentist about this whole Glove thing. He keeps re-asssuring me they are very strict about "universal precautions" and they never cross contaminate. But still being anxious about this because I don't remembr quite well and wouldn't want to infect my fiance' with anythng. Should I be taking this PEP stuff? or should I have? , or should I start? or is that just used for certain criteria? I can't see in my mouth to see if it was bleeding while he was drilling or still from the cleaning. (or not) Still a little worried about being touched by a glove that could have touched the other person.

Thank You so much Dr. Bob, Cynthia

Please look at the additional information below. I will commit a Lifetime of donations every uear to your Foundation.

I know you don't like answering or repeating yourself, but Dr. Bob I think I left out two important issues that I need you to look over.

Two very important issues I forgot to mention -- Please re-look at this Dr. bob and help me one last time with this.

In this situation #2 -- What really worries me the most is that after my cleaning my gums had bled. They told me I brush to hard and my gums are bleeding upper left and lower right. Then who knows if anything bled during the filling. This is why I am still horrified. because I left this information out. Taking this into fact -- My gums were bleeding -- Now what are my chances of getting HIV in this situation. It is still bothering me. Please help!!!

#2. After the Dentist worked on him, he changed gloves and worked in my mouth. Right after working on this guy. OMG , Again I am freaking out!!! What chance do I have of catching HIV this way as well. From a Dental Office? He had his hands in this mans mouth and then I was the next patient and then he had his hands in mine. Also, what if something was on his shirt? . Am I going to catch the HIV virus this way?

In this next situation:

Posted here again, -- When I touched the cellophane ,,overhead lamp and switch, which was not changed to new yet. The person was not finished with his appointment -- so again anything could of splashed there. (blood, saliva, puss, teeth, ect...) Here is my final question. That same morning I woke up and my cuticle on my index finger had some dry blood around it and it was stinging. ( maybe pushed back to far). I don't know if that happened the day before or that morning. So I bandaged it up and worked out at the gym that morning. After my shower, took off the band aid and the blood mark was gone. But my finger was still stinging. So maybe some tender, not yet healed skin there. I do not know if it was open or not ,, That was at 6 am ,, I saw this gentleman at the dentist at 9 am. .... AGAIN -- BARE HANDED --- I touched the lamp and the cellophane over it ,, the lamp and the switch with that same hand. --- I forgot to mention this in my last question to you.

KNOWING AND ADDING THIS -- What are the chances of catching the HIV virus in this situation?

Again , The cellophane was not changed because he was still in the seat. So the light had been touched by gloves that had been in that mans mouth. And to add, What about anything that could of splashed on the lights or the switch out of his. With my Bare Hands Dr. Frascino. Is this any exposure?? Again, His appointment was not done and I touched the lamp and switch a few times. I touched the cellophane bare handed -- no gloves --- nothing. Who knows a while after that I might have put my finger in my mouth, rubbed my eye ,, or even picked inside my nose. What are any chances to catch HIV then???? Remember the thing about my index finger.

I will ACTUALLY DONATE EVERY YEAR FOR A LIFETIME to your FOUNDATION because I believe in your work!! I am still a little anxious.

Thank You as I know your are a busy man

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again Cynthia (wink-wink),

Should you be taking PEP? No, absolutely not. PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is recommended for significant HIV exposures and must be started as soon as possible (and no later than 72 hours) after an exposure. Your risk is completely nonexistent and you are well beyond the 72-hour cutoff.

Regarding all your additional information, it does not change my assessment: absolutely no risk. I just can't say it any more straightforwardly than that.

If your worries persist, I'd recommend you seek counseling (psychotherapy) to help you confront and conquer these totally irrational and completely unwarranted fears regarding HIV.

Stop bugging your dentist before he has to put a restraining order out on you!

Thanks for your ongoing support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. It's warmly appreciated during this Thanksgiving season. In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma, hoping that you put your irrational fears permanently to rest and that you have a healthy holiday season.

Happy Thankschristkwanzakuh.

Dr. Bob

DOUBLE THE DONATION IF YOU ANSWER THIS FOLLOW UP QUESTION ALONG WITH MY FIRST #3 Nov 13, 2009 Dear Dr. Bob Frascino,

I just spoke to my dentist because I think I really did something stupid. I explained to you in an e-mail about the Dental Experience I had ,,,,, But now I think I really did something bad.

I explained there was an HIV+ (positive) patient in the other room and you read that dilemma. Now what I did was this. I don't know maybe after 1 minute, 2 minutes ,, it could of even been 5 minutes I went into the room to talk with the man and I turned on the over head light that they use above your mouth. I asked the Dentist what they do as precaution with the lights. He told me that is why there is cellophane over the switch and how the steps they use to be safe. Well ,,, I didn't know that and the patient wasn't finished ,,, I BARE HANDS touched the light a few time and tuned it on a few times without any gloves. Who knows what could of shot out of his mouth onto that light. It could have been anything, saliva, blood, puss, ANYTHING. I touched the light with my bare dry hands that have some starting to heal cuts and scratches. on them from always being wet, cold and dry. What are the chances of catching the HIV virus in this situation? Please Dr. Bob I will Double my donation.

The cellophane was not changed because he was still in the seat. So the light had been touched by gloves that had been in that mans mouth. And to add, What about anything that could of splashed on the lights or the switch out of his. With my Bare Hands Dr. Frascino. Is this any exposure?? Again, His appointment was not done and I touched the lamp and switch a few times. I touched the cellophane bare handed -- no gloves --- nothing. Who knows a while after that I might have put my finger in my mouth, rubbed my eye ,, or even picked inside my nose. What are any chances to catch HIV then????

Please help so I can get a good nights rest,

Thank You,

Cynthia

TERRIFIED -- DENTAL ISSUE -- LARGE DONATION -- Please Dr. Bob Frascino -- Answer this one !! (Submitted Nov 11, 2009)

Dear Dr. Bob Frascino,

I have a two - fold situation and am TERRIFIED.

I went to the Dentist Today and had a teeth cleaning and a little cavity filled. The Dentist infroduced me to a person in another room and I said hello and shook his hand.

Here is my issues -- Please Help.

After talking with this man he proceeded to talk about a lot of different things. One is he is HIV + (postitive). I shook his hands and I have very dry and cracked hands from being in the cold and in water all the time. I have issues around my nails and always have some type of healing cracked areas and dots of scabbed skin due to pulling around on my skin. In this situation --- What are the chances of getting HIV from this man. it didn't get a good look at his hands. Please tell me where I stand with this situation. I don't know the true shape my hands need to be in to not catch anything. I have some healed over areas that are not yet there. Meaning that a little scab may be there but the area still is tender.

#2. After the Dentist workded on him, he changed gloves and worked in my mouth. Right after working on this guy. OMG , Again I am freeking out!!! What chance do I have of catching HIV this way as well. From a Dental Office? He had his hands in this mans mouth and then I was the next patient and then he had his hands in mine. Also, what if something was on his shirt? . Am I going to catch the HIV virus this way?

Do you think I need to Test in either of these situations? I just got a test back a couple weeks ago and I am Negative. I don't know if stress will allow me to wait the period of time I need to re-test.

What are my chances of getting HIV in the aboe situation knowing that this man is HIV+.

Please think of every senario so I can rest and have some peace.

Please foward me the place to DONATE !!

Thank You Dr. Frascino,

Cynthia

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Cynthia,

OK, first thing, I want you to take three big cleansing, relaxing yoga breaths. Go ahead, we'll wait.

Next, your HIV risk is completely nonexistent. Repeat after me, "my HIV risk was nonexistent!" OK, now repeat those three big relaxing yoga breaths once agin.

Now let's talk! (I felt I needed to ratchet down your anxiety levels a bit or you wouldn't hear a single thing I was trying to tell you!)

Regarding your three risks:

1. Risk #1. The risk of HIV transmission from a handshake is nonexistent, unless both of you were actively dripping blood in massive amounts. (Think about one of those trashy horror flicks where hapless teenagers are getting massacred by some homicidal schizoid maniac wielding a machete).

2. Risk #2. There is nothing to "OMG" about! He "changed gloves." There is absolutely no risk. None, nada, zilch, zero, zip! Likewise, even with "something on his shirt," your HIV risk remains nonexistent.

3. Risk #3. Touching cellophane-coated light switches or overhead lights or talking with folks who are "virally enhanced" are not risks for HIV transmission. Be reasonable. If HIV were transmitted that easily, it would have wiped out the entire planet years ago!

Unless you had unprotected sex with the positively charged dude in the dental chair (or perhaps the hunky-spunky dentist), your risk of HIV acquisition from any and all the scenarios you mention in your post are completely, totally and absolutely nonexistent.

From this level of completely unwarranted panic, it's obvious you are harboring significant irrational fears of HIV. This is not uncommon. Check out the archives and you'll find you have lots of company. I strongly advise you seek psychotherapy (counseling) to help you confront and hopefully conquer your totally irrational HIV fears.

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. Donation information for the foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org.

Good luck Cynthia. Remember, HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No HIV testing is recommended or warranted. However, counseling certainly is! I'd also recommend you spend some time (lots of time!) reviewing the wealth of information on this Web site to learn exactly how HIV is and is not transmitted! We have entire chapters on HIV non-sexual transmission and prevention in the archives of this forum

Dr. Bob



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Dr. Bob, please see this artice from the Dallas morning news and comment on it. I dont know why i read this one.

  
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