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Hi Doctor Bob, No real question. Just hello
Oct 20, 2010

Hi Doctor.

You probably don't remember me but you helped a couple of years ago with my OCD questions. I want just to tell you what a wonderful person you are. I was treating my OCD as you suggested. and finally beat it. No more unreasonable HIV fears. Thanks a lot for your kind support. Also, I was wondering about you. How are you doing? How is your health and are you in good mood? Hope you are doing good! People like you are unique and I wish you best of luck. You are real example of what the Doctor should be

Northeast guy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Northeast Guy,

Welcome back to the forum. Thanks for the follow-up report. I'm delighted you have conquered your HIV fears! BRAVO!

As for me:

Health: stable

Mood: always excellent

Be well. Stay well. I certainly try to do the same. OK?

Dr. Bob

Re: Am I at risk? - I am so stupid! Jan 5, 2009

Dear doctor Bob.

As always happening on this forum you are 100% smart and correct and I am 100% idiot. As you suggested I started getting mental help but at one time my OCD took over and forced me to get tested again. Rapid finger blood test came negative but oh NOO!! - I noticed that nurse didn't wear cloves while performing the test. I don't believe that she touched my blood and I also asked her to allow me to inspect her hands She did and I didn't see her having blood or open wounds. She also told me not to worry as she was HIV - (Haa! - what would I expect her to say?). I am still somehow concerned if I could've gotten infected through some un-noticable blood on her hands (hers ot from erlier patient). I will totaly understand if you wouldn't even want to talk to such idiot like me after your first reply but I am still hoping. Please call me idiot or nutter but please tell me if am at risk or no again. I swear no more testing. Please help me one more time and do your magic.

As promised I will send my second donation shortly even if you don't reply.

Guy from noth-east

Original message

Am I at risk? Dec 24, 2008

Dear Dr Bob,

First of all, let me kindly thank you for all good work you are doing and tell you what wonderful and kind person you are. I've been looking through your forum for the last 3 weeks and was so impressed with your kindness and humanity that I have recently made a donation to you foundation (VeriSign XXXXXXXXXXXX). I am wondering if you can answer my question which may sound silly but fear in my mind is so real that I cant stand it anymore. I am married man with wonderful son and not involved in any risk behavior but sometimes I get really scared of being infected with HIV though non-sexual exposure. 3 weeks ago, after the recent scare (thought I got infected in doctors office) I went for anonymous HIV testing and took rapid HIV test what came back negative. What is killing me now is that, the guy who was running the test (I believe his is HIV+) congratulated me and firmly shacked my hand. I do know what you cant HIV from handshake but 15 minutes later I realized that I had a small abrasion on my hand that was 2 hours old. It was not bleeding (dont think it ever bled) but it did have small red dots the size on the pin heads inside. I dont believe that the guy was bleeding while shaking my hand but I obviously didnt look at his hands very closely. I did check my hand 15 minutes later and saw no his blood anywhere but what if I just wiped it out while putting my hand in my pocket and out before I looked. 1 day later I got full blown panic attack, couldnt sleep, eat or work. I went to my physician who told me that I have a big imagination and said that I went to the testing medical facility and not to the Dracula caste with monsters with bleeding hands, plus given amount of blood required to infect me there is no way I wouldnt feel or notice that he was bleeding while shacking my hand. He also told me to stop testing as it only makes it worse. I was put on Celexa, Xanax and Ambien, but my fear is not going away. Since my physician is not HIV specialist, I always thinking about possibility that I got infected, my wife cant take it anymore, my friends trying to comfort me but my life is miserable and I think about this 24 hours a day. I feel that only you doctor can tell me the truth and I can trust only your judgment. I promised my family and friends to try to get back to be normal only if Dr Frascino tells me that I am OK. Please doctor could you please me the truth. Am I at risk? Have you heard about transmission happening this was should I test again?

PS I wish you and Doctor Steven wonderful holidays, marry Christmas and happy New Year and will donate more next year as I really think you are the most philanthropic and human loving person out there. If I am ever in Sun Francisco, can I buy you and doctor Steven a lunch?

Guy from North-East

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Guy from North-East,

Thank you for your kind comments, holiday wishes and donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). All are warmly appreciated.

Regarding your HIV risk, it's completely nonexistent. If HIV really were transmitted that easily, it would have wiped out the planet long ago. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. However, you do have a significant medical problem that requires attention: irrational fear of becoming HIV infected. This type of HIV-phobia is not uncommon. Just take a read through the archives and you'll find many testimonials with unwarranted HIV fears similar to yours. I strongly recommend you seek psychological/psychiatric counseling to help you confront and eventually conquer these fears. Your fears are already affecting your friends and family and causing you to get completely unwarranted HIV tests, which in turn have lead to more worry. This is a vicious circle, which can get progressively worse over time. It's not that your imagination is oversized; it's that you are unable to think rationally about this specific issue. Some folks are abnormally fearful of spiders or snakes or flying or heights, etc. You are abnormally fearful of HIV/AIDS. Counseling can be very effective in treating any type of phobia, that of HIV included. Give it a try, OK?

Happy Holidays to you and your family. Be well. Stay well. Nol!

Dr. Bob

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Guy from North-East,

The last time you wrote you stated: "I promised my family and friends to try to get back to be normal only if Dr. Frascino tells me that I am OK." I told you: "HIV is not your problem. No way. No how." I also advised you to seek psychiatric help because your type of problem often "gets progressively worse over time." And here you are again still getting completely unnecessary HIV tests, which, of course, give "negative" results and yet you manage to concoct additional irrational fears because the nurse didn't wear "cloves" while performing the test. It seems my prediction is unfortunately coming true. North-East Guy, my response to your current unwarranted worry is identical to my response to your last unwarranted worry. I'll reprint it for you to re-read: "Hi Guy from North-East, Thank you for your kind comments, holiday wishes and donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). All are warmly appreciated. Regarding your HIV risk, it's completely nonexistent. If HIV really were transmitted that easily, it would have wiped out the planet long ago. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. However, you do have a significant medical problem that requires attention: irrational fear of becoming HIV infected. This type of HIV-phobia is not uncommon. Just take a read through the archives and you'll find many testimonials with unwarranted HIV fears similar to yours. I strongly recommend you seek psychological/psychiatric counseling to help you confront and eventually conquer these fears. Your fears are already affecting your friends and family and causing you to get completely unwarranted HIV tests, which in turn have lead to more worry. This is a vicious circle, which can get progressively worse over time. It's not that your imagination is oversized; it's that you are unable to think rationally about this specific issue. Some folks are abnormally fearful of spiders or snakes or flying or heights, etc. You are abnormally fearful of HIV/AIDS. Counseling can be very effective in treating any type of phobia, that of HIV included. Give it a try, OK? Happy Holidays to you and your family. Be well. Stay well. Noel! Dr. Bob "

The only additional advice I would give is that you copy your question and my response and show it to your psychiatrist. It will help focus your treatment and speed your recovery.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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