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Cuts on feet
Aug 20, 2011

Hello Doctor, I am writing on behalf of my daughter, she suffers from OCD and has finally agreed to get help in the form of CBT therapy thank god! Please please can you reply with your opinion as she will not listen to her family. I believe she asked you this before with no reply, possibly due to the answer already being answered in your archives? The only similar one I could find was from an Australian surfer who asked about cuts from coral but my daughter says its not exactly the same so refuses to settle for the response!! I will cut to the chase. Her question is below:

I was on honeymoon in the Seychelles last month and both myself and my husband cut our feet on some coral while swimming they bled for a couple of minutes maximum but it was quite tender for a few days after. 2 days later we went on a boat trip which had a crew of local people working onboard, we were all barefoot and I have been extremely worried about catching hiv from stepping in blood from someone else who may have cut their foot. Our cuts were not actively bleeding but were visible and not healed over completely as they were only two days old, we did not notice that we stepped in anything but the floors were wet in places from the water so we may not have noticed. Would our cuts have to have been actively bleeding to catch anything? Would 2 days have been long enough for our bodies to seal the cut from letting anything in? Even if we were walking right behind someone else. Would you notice if you stepped in blood - would it have to be a noticeable amount to be infected or could there be traces on the floor? Please help! This is driving me crazy. Thanks so much.

We have tried to tell her that you cannot catch hiv this way but she will not listen and just comes up with what ifs all the time, Im hoping she will listen to you and she can forget about this and start her ocd treatment.

Thank you so much in advance, I can see you are a massive help to so many and really appreciate your time.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

Your daughter's OCD is OOC (out of control) and cognitive behavioral therapy is definitely warranted.

The HIV risk from her cut tootsies while honeymooning in the Seychelles is completely nonexistent. However, I doubt she'll believe me. Her problem is not this isolated incident but rather a more generalized irrational fear of HIV. Irrational obsession with HIV, despite minimal to no risk, is often a sign of psychological problems, such as OCD, depression or hypochondriasis.

Dr. Bob



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