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Cut by the same object nearly instantaneously
Jul 30, 2010

Hi Dr.Bob! First let me say that I hope you are having a terrific summer! It's hot and sticky where I am, but I'm trying to stay cool. Physically, I'm doing a good job, but mentally ( at least recently)....not so much. I did my best to search for a question similar to mine in the archives, but without a tremendous amount of luck due to some factors which may change the situation a bit. A few days ago, a woman came to my workplace to drop off some dry-cleaned garments. She set them down on the counter, and left. After she had set them down, I noticed that she had looked at her hand. Around a minute later, I picked the clothes up by the hangers in the same fashion (and same spot) she had just held them, and discovered that the edge of the hanger hook was very sharp. It cut my hand, and the millimeter long cut bled a tiny bit. I then thought that, since she looked at her hand after setting the clothes down, it was likely that the woman may have also cut herself on the sharp metal hanger hook right before I did, about a minute later. I am aware that HIV is not spread via environmental surfaces, but I am worried that I may have just had an exposure, due to the extremely short time frame between her possible cut and my definite one. Was this a risk, and do I need testing in three months? Or, in order for someone to get HIV from an inanimate object (like the hanger in question), would the object have to be covered in A LOT of blood, and inflict an obvious, deep, and heavily bleeding injury, rather than a small, incidental cut or scratch that bled lightly? I'm just trying to learn, and assuage my fears at the same time. Please respond!

P.S Can I send a donation to your foundation via Paypal?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Actually your question is quite similar to many other in the archives! And your HIV-acquisition risk is the same as that of those others: nonexistent! HIV testing is not warranted.

Continue to read through the archives. I'm confident the information there will continue to enlighten and reassure you.

Thanks for your interest in The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. Yes, the foundation welcomes PayPal donations. The link can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org.

Be well. Stay well. Don't worry. Remember, HIV is not your problem, OK?

Dr. Bob



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