a question (to do things properly) (CASUAL CONTACT, 2011)
Aug 22, 2011
Dr Bob, i have a sister who has lived a rough life to the point of being homeless and has experienced many hardships..i am allowing her to stay at my home for a couple of weeks until we can find her a place of her own..she has lived rough as i said...my question is regarding blood borne diseases such as hiv and hep c...aside from not having unprotected sex with her (because i know that will be your answer lol)are there any other precautions i should take for myself and my son? can i wash her clothes with ours? should i use a small amount of bleach while washing dishes? (i do not have a dishwasher) she is my sister but because of her lifestyle choices i do not know her well but feel i should help her...my concern is more with hep c because i know that hiv dies quickly outside of the body..i do not want to treat her badly or as if i think she is contaminated or anything, i just want to take the proper precautions..i do not know her status but feel it is appropriate to assume the worst and be safe for my son and myself...i would greatly appreciate any advice you are able to give me thank you so much for your time J
Response from Dr. Frascino
Blood-born disease such as HIV and hepatitis C are not transmitted via casual contact.
Can you wash your sister's clothes with yours? Yes, of course you can.
Should you use bleach while washing dishes? No, of course not.
The only precaution, aside from not having unprotected sex or sharing intravenous drug paraphernalia with her, would be to avoid getting her fresh blood into an open wound on you or your son. Visible blood can be cleaned up with bleach. See link below. I am very pleased you have decided to help your sister in spite of not knowing her well and her past hardships. You've just earned yourself some excellent cosmic karma. So don't ruin it by being paranoid about nonexistent risks and making your sister feel like she's somehow a toxic commodity.
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