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handshake, could I be the first?
Feb 27, 2004

Nancy, I have read previous handshake related responses, yet still have so much anxiety. Upon going to a meeting I received a non-bleeding paper cut on my right hand. Within a few minutes, without looking to greet anyone, due to the cut, I shook hands w/ two individuls, one of which hand a small scab on their right hand. To me, the paper cut was a direct opening to my blood system, although I saw no blood. My fear at times can be so great that I find it difficult to imagine that I could be so wrong about the risks of contacting HIV via a handshake. Some of your wise knowledge would be so helpful --- I am also seeing a therapist concerning this issue. Thank you.

Response from Ms. Breuer

You have already found the best approach to this problem, I think. The intense anxiety over a form of human contact that poses no risk of infection is not an HIV problem, but an anxiety problem. I salute you for dealing with it in the most appropriate way. I'm betting that you're a good part of the way to letting this fear go.

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