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Animal Scratch
Aug 22, 2010

Dear Dr. Frascino. I am writing as I got a sudden concern I might have put some friends to risk. I have been hiv+ for 19 years and at the time of this accident, about two years ago, I was on sustiva/epivir/zerit with an undetectable viral load - had been so for the past 8 years - and about 850 CD4 count. I have since switched to Atripla and viral load has remained undetectable, with a CD4 count of about 1200. These gay friends (in their sixties) who have always been aware of my hiv+ status, took me to visit a parrot cage within a zoo, along with another guy who was not in on my status and possibly not in on their being gay either. As soon as the parrots (it must have been like three dozens of them) came to rest upon my arms and shoulders looking to be fed I realized their claws were rather sharp and pinching, so I refused to keep feeding them and tried to ward them off. My friends however kept on, then after about 5 minutes we went away. I inspected my arms (I was wearing a short sleeved shirt) for signs of scratches/blood and I didn't see anything. Couldn't inspect my shoulders though so I wouldn't know about that. My friends didn't complain about anything and I kind of forgot about this, until the memory of this came back and got me worried. Do you think there was a risk and would it be suggestible for these people to take a test? As I said, one of these guys was not really aware about my status. I am worried and need some words of advice. I wrote to you in the past, about four years ago, for a possible health hazard at work and your response was most helpful. Thanks so very much. L.R.

Animal Scratch again (Submitted Aug 19, 2010)

Dear Dr, Frascino, I just realized that I forgot to mention in my just-sent question about the parrots that my friends were wearing short-sleeve shirts too, and that they kept feeding the parrots, with as many as three or four of them or even more on their bare forearms. Could you please take this into account in your response. Thanks again. L.R.

Animal Scratch addition (Submitted Aug 19, 2010)

Sorry for my continuous emendations, Dr. Frascino. Hope you can read all of these together so as not to bother you with multiple responses task. I forgot to mention in my previous two posts that in my personal history i started medication very late after i got diagnosed with atypical pneumonia (pneumocystic carinii) in 1999 with a CD4 count of about 70. Don't know if this info is relevant to the question i asked, still I felt I wanted to add it. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Even with all the "emendations," the HIV-transmission risk remains nonexistent. Neither worry nor HIV testing is warranted.

Dr. Bob



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