The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

$300 Donation! Not just talk, and actual donation! I don't know what to do.

Jul 23, 2010

Please read all that wrote. I appreciate it!

I am mortified right now!!! I have no one who is as experienced as you, and as well educated as you so of course I am honored to not only donate some money, but to speak with you. I often come on your site and browse, but never had the chance to speak with you.

Here is my situation: I have EXTREME OCD. Almost everyday I think I contracted HIV. I hate living this way;in fear. I went to my college book store to buy a test sheet. The Asian woman behind the counter opened her hand out so I can put the change in her hand. Already I was panicking, I usually just set the change on the counter so I can avoid touching anyone. As I put the coins/change in her hand I felt my nail slightly graze her palm. I freaked! Then as I glanced at her hand I saw what looked like a big splot of blood (the size of a silver dollar. I walked outside and looked at my finger that touched her hand and I had a small amount of red substance on my finger. About the size of the end of those skinny sharpie markers. Of course, I flipped out and am having SEVERE anxiety. I don't know what to do with myself!!!! I remember mixing some crystal lite into my water today, and it was red so I'm hoping it was just dried. The red substance looked dry not dripping wet or anything. It could have been wet, but definitely a small amount. About 5 minutes later, I got a tissue and rubbed my finger clean.

Here is my question: If the Asian woman had HIV and what I saw on her hand was HIV+ blood, and got it on my finger is this a risk???? Keep in mind I have very dry fingers due to washing my hands so much and I also have a nervous habit of biting the skin on the side of my nails, so that finger on both sides of the finger were peeled skin from biting the skin off, along with dry areas. I bit the skin off the sides of my nail like an hour prior. The red substance seemed to get in the cracks of my dry and peeling skin of my fingers. Does this sound like a risk? Or just OCD again?

Mark my words, I will donate the amount specified. I am lucky enough to have wealthy parents but I'd trade it in a second to not have these feelings ever again.

Please help me.

Response from Dr. Frascino


I concur: You do indeed have EXTREME OCD. Some of the comments in your post plus some of your habits strongly support an OCD diagnosis ("Almost everyday I think I contracted HIV" . . . "I avoid touching anyone," recurrent hand-washing, biting cuticles, etc.). It must be terribly uncomfortable and very challenging to go through daily life with such constant anxieties and fears.

Regarding your specific concern, your HIV-acquisition risk is completely nonexistent. But deep down you already knew that, didn't you? Of course you did!

So the good news is that you don't have HIV. No way. No how. However, you do have a very significant medical problem that warrants attention and treatment: OCD and irrational fear of HIV.

I would strongly suggest you seek the help of a psychiatrist to help you confront and cope with your irrational fears and OCD behaviors. Psychotherapy plus anti-anxiety/antidepressant medication can be extremely helpful. Print out a copy of this post and my response to show to your psychiatrist at the time of your first visit. It will help focus your treatment and speed your recovery.

Thank you for your generous donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's very warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my best good-luck/good-health karma that you'll always be HIV free and also soon free from your OCD as well.

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob

23 HIV test ALL Negative:

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint