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HIV phobia or not & risk?

Dec 2, 2012

First of all, thank you very much for reading and taking time to answer. I have many situations that is freaking me out. Please help me I cannot stop thinking about these and I keep analyzing these situations. Last 2 months, I went to a clinic for pap smear exam. I had 4-5 follow-ups to that clinic. I'm very scare that they did not change the paper sheet that used on the examine chair. There might be bodily fluid on the paper sheet and my genital and anus get contact from it. Another story is I volunteered at drug and alcohol abused rehab place. One of the cient was touching her bleeding arm and was passing papers to me. I touched the paper and I didn't realize I was scartching the scar on my shoulder and it was bleeding. I'm very freaked out this because her blood might be on the paper and that I had it in my fingernails. Another time is I went to donate blood and the who was clipping the blood tube on people who are in process of donating. He came and inspect my arms with his gloves still on. He touches my arm, and one area of my arm has a new scar that I could still see blood on. I'm very scare of contacting other people's blood from this guy gloves. Last scenario I would like to say is, I'm a nursing student and I had clinical where we have to bath the patients. That day in the morning, the skin near my thumb nail peels and bleeds. I gave bath to patient and one of the patient I helped him with getting socks on. I'm very scare that my thumb might get contact with the patient and they might be bleeding. Researching about HIV is seemed to be the thing I do in most part of the day now and came across this wonderful website. I'm very scare and totally freaked out about all of my situation. I'm extremely careful with everything I touch and I avoid touching people, if I touch them I kept looking at the hands to see if there's any open cut. I don't have anyone that I can talk about this. What should I do? Am I at risk? And am I overreact and thinking too much? Thank you so much again for taking time to read and answer. I really need advice I can hardly do my study or work.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi My first inclination to say is that if you are going into the medical field you need to make sure that this is really something you can do. Coming into contact with other peoples body fluids is part of the job and if you are going to be panicking after every interaction this may not be the job for you.

All of the instances that you have described cannot transmit HIV.

Be well, Shannon

Follow Up: Wounds and bleeding scratches when playing sports
Can You Pass on HIV if you test negative

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