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HIV From GIVING Someone a Kiss on the Cheek
Aug 23, 2014

Hi -

I am dreadfully worried and nervous to the point where I feel physically ill and cannot stop crying over the possibility of ending up with HIV. Though I realize someone ELSE kissing YOU on the cheek is not a risk of transmission, what about the scenario vice versa?

The first time, I kissed my boyfriend's friend's girlfriend on the cheek to say goodbye. I started worrying that perhaps since she had pretty bad acne that she had blood on her face and maybe if I had a small cut then I would be at risk.

Two days ago, I had a small cut on my lower lip from my cat biting me. During the time of the bite, blood did come out. The next day, I kissed my neighbor on the cheek to say goodbye (just a casual, quick peck - nothing serious) and am now terrified that I could have contracted HIV through the cut if he had even a tiny amount of blood on his cheek. I do not know him to be HIV positive, but what if he was? Is this a way to end up with HIV/should I go on the post-transmission drugs?

I know that these may sound like ridiculous scenarios, and I even contacted several hotlines and such who said "there has never been a documented case" but I am just wondering, what is your professional opinion???

Response from Mr. Glenn

Here's the thing. Everything I'm going to tell you will be the same as you've already heard (no risk at all).

So the question now is what's going to help you accept what you have been told over and over.

It is possible to feel better and to let the worry go. But it's going to take work for you to get there. This is not about HIV. This is about building the skills to recognize real risk from out of control anxiety.

If you aren't already talking with a mental health professional about your anxiety, now is the time to start! Many resources can be found online.

Try to find someone you can visit face to face and PLEASE try to avoid asking them if they think you have risk for HIV. This might distract from the real issue to work on: managing your out of control anxiety.

Hope this helps,

Erik



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