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hiv infection via paper cut ?
Jul 21, 2011

Dear Dr Bob

First of all, I would like to thank you for your all your efforts to educate and comfort people, you are truly an amazing person.

Well I'm a medical student and just last week I was on clinical placement at a hospital. I had a paper cut (not bleeding kind) and I'm just really worried that i got HIV when touching equipment and patients. Right now I've got some flu like symptoms (sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes). Over the past months i think ive been suffering from health anxiety due to my medical study. Should I get tested? Should I be worried?

Thank you Love med student

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

Your HIV-acquisition risk from touching equipment and patients while having a non-bleeding paper cut is nonexistent. HIV is not your problem. Testing is not warranted.

I agree you have "health anxiety" issues. Considering you're a medical student, this psychological problem should be addressed and resolved as soon as possible. Otherwise it could compromise your career and effectiveness as a physician. I would suggest you consult a licensed mental health professional to help you confront and conquer these irrational fears. Talk to your advisors or attending physicians for a recommendation and referral.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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