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Please help me. Really concerned for friend
Oct 26, 2001

I am sorry to ask a question that not really has anything to do with the workplace. But I would appreciate it if you are able to help in any way. My concern is as follows: Can HIV infected pus secreted from pimples or acne cause HIV infection if it got into the body? I am concerned as I might be infected with HIV and I am very prone to acne outbreaks, where the pimples sometimes break secreting pus. I am not very careful about this and sometimes touch the pus without wahing my hands. Recently, this happened and I was holding a can drink for my friend. At our workplace. My concern is what if my hands which had came into contact with my pus and I touched the rim of the can and my friend drank form it? Will she get infected this way? My HIV status is not known yet and there is a high chance that I am not infected. But the question now is what if I am? Have I brought calamity upon my friend? I really regret not being more careful, but sometimes things just slip my mind, especially when I am likely to be HIV free. I am rather absent minded and never meant to put my friend at risk in any way. I have not voiced my concerns to her, for fear of putting her at constant worry. Is she in any form of danger? Please help me by answering this question.I should really hate myself if I gave my friend HIV if I really am infected

Response from Ms. Breuer

You may not believe this, but I've actually been asked this question before, and I turned to my favorite HIV physician advisor for help. He told me that the white blood cells in pus are essentially dead white blood cells, and carry no risk of transmission. You have not put your friend at risk.

But I am concerned about you. I may misunderstand your letter, but it sounds as though you often feel you are at risk. Even though treatments have improved, HIV is a great infection not to have. Please protect yourself. Learn everything you can about transmission, at this website and others, okay? You're worth it.



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