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Testing
Jun 21, 2001

Dr. Aberg,

I have written a few times and you hve been so helpful. My niece and sister have been recently diagnosed with HIV. I am very close to my niece, she is a wonderful 10 year old. I decided to be tested and am waiting for results. The rest of my family is wondering if they should be tested. The most contact with bodily fluids would be vomiting, crying or normal cuts (skinned knee, cat scratch, etc.) should any of us be extremely worried? Usually when the above occurences happen, we use something besides a bare hand to clean the area.

I am anemic, have had pneumonia recently and have ear infections and common colds often. My friends say it is my bad eating habits, but I am a bit worried. Also, her other aunt is a diabetic who feels that if she was infected, her diabetes would be out of control. I am worried, since I am getting married in less than a month and will need to cancel my wedding if I am infected, but my fiancee is not. He has been tested before we met, but not since. I have only been tested this one time (the results I am waiting for.) We both had not been unsafe with intimacy before meeting each other.

I know that I put a lot of questions on the table, but any answers you can provide would be appreciated.

I also wrote the childrens page on any helpful hints for raising a child who is positive.

Thank you!

Response from Dr. Aberg

You need to stop worrying so much. I do remember your previous question. Family contacts are not at risk for getting HIV from day to day activities. You will not contract HIV from her tears, vomiting, sharing cups or other household items. You should protect yourself from any blood.

You really need to go to family support groups and learn about HIV. It sounds like the whole family is paranoid and afraid. You need to be educated about HIV so you can be supportive of your sister and niece.

Make sure you follow up and get your results. You should ask the post test counselor about risk factors for HIV and ask for information about family support.


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