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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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terry2005
Unregistered

Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office
      #157712 - 07/25/05 12:39 PM

I wentto a dentist who did not change his mask in between patients. He had small spots of blood on his mask. Maybe 10 minutes or so went by before he worked on me. The other thing that happened was that my hand came in contact with a wet substance at a doctor's office and I had a cut on one of my fingers. The table where I laid my hand down is used when the doctor gives people shots. Maybe the table was not cleaned properly before I rested my hands on it. From what I recall I never got flue-like symptoms but have had tingling and numbness in my hands and sometimes a little tinglijng in my feet since these two things happened to me. I have developed a dry cough which my doctor thinks is allergy related. I also have rheumatoid arthritis but do not know whether the tingling is related in any way to that. I have been to a hand specialist and he really can't pinpoint what's going on in my hands. I was told by an hiv+ person that the tingling associated with hiv starts 4 or 5 years into the illness and primarily starts in the feet but I have read where infected people can get this right away. I have asked a similar question on another website and was told that none of this is hiv related. Any thoughts?

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Anonymous
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Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #157730 - 07/25/05 11:41 PM

what you described I believe does not pose any risk for hiv. you had a possible indirect contact (non-sexual) with unknown fluids from unknown people. this is not a risk for getting hiv. particularly since bodily fluids need to pass from person to person very quickly, such as contact like direct sexual contact or getting stuck with a needle. you may want to go to a dentist that is a little more hygenic though, don't you think??

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debtex
Legend

Reged: 03/21/05
Posts: 846
Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #157731 - 07/26/05 12:01 AM

terry,

i think you have nothing to worry about in so far as hiv is concerned. my dentists uses the same mask. it could be iodine on his mask. some surgical masks are "fitted" for a particlar person. dry blood from a mask is not going to fall into an open wound in your mouth. and "fluid" on a counter of the doctors office is not going to give you hiv either. had someone had a blood accident prior to your going in there, it is usually cleaned properly. these are not risks of geting hiv. if you show me ONE case, where a person has "touched" a countertop and has become infected w/ hiv......then I may buy what you say as a risk. but it is NOT.

please relax about what you believe to be exposures. they are NOT. you know how you can get hiv, and YOU have the power to keep yourself safe.

be well,
debbie

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terry2005
Unregistered

Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #157845 - 07/28/05 09:25 AM

Deb - Thanks for your reply. I got to tell you it was definitely blood on the dentist's mask because he had just finished cleaning another patient's teeth. Like I said approximately 10 minutes went by before he began my procedure. Of course, my worry is that not enough time elapsed before he started on me. The experts say the hiv virus is fragile but since this was a possible blood exposure and blood is a highly infectious substance I got worried. The most troubling thing is my strange symptoms. I had never experienced tingling in my hands and feet and now I developed this dry cough. I got to tell you I went through a full blown scare 3 years ago and I practically had a nervous breakdown and now this happens I can't even bring myself to get tested again. I have read that a dry cough is considered an opportunistic infection and that it occurs later in the progression of hiv and the same is my understanding for the neurological things that happen. What would you do if this happened to you?

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debtex
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Reged: 03/21/05
Posts: 846
Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #157855 - 07/28/05 01:59 PM

well, I understand your fears, but the blood on his mask would not pose a risk to you. I know how scary it can be to be tested if you think you are at risk AT ALL. its terrifying. but this procedure as inappropriate as it may have been for the dentist to even allow you to see someone else's blood, is NOT a risk factor. people who have been at risk by dentist, is caused by dirty tools, or a puncutre to the dentists hand (if he was infected) directly touching your open wound from dental work. Please dont put yourself thru that agony if this really was your only fear of infection. it is not a risk...just plain unethical and gross.

no need for a nervous breakdown, really. I would simply say to your dentist, that you would appreciate him using a clean mask in the future.

Take care and be well, and please tell me that you will be able to relax about this non existing exposure to hiv.

love and prayers,
debbie
your symptoms would have happened anyway.....its just that you were worried about this....so started to relate it to some possible OI's. which OI's do not occure until later, much much much later in infection.



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terry2005
Unregistered

Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #157857 - 07/28/05 02:39 PM

Deb - Thank you for your encouraging words. They mean an awful lot to me. God Bless you too!

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terry2005
Unregistered

Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #157858 - 07/28/05 02:39 PM

Deb - Thank you for your encouraging words. They mean an awful lot to me. God Bless you too!

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terry2005
Unregistered

Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #157859 - 07/28/05 02:43 PM

Deb - thanks for your words of encouragement. I have always been a nervous nelly but the fear of contracting hiv is out of control and these crazy things happen and I go over the edge again. Logically I realize what are considered risky situations but my mind just gets carried out with "what ifs". Thanks again and God Bless you too!

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terry2005
Unregistered

Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #158141 - 08/04/05 01:15 PM

G-Man - I would appreciate to hear your thoughts on what I perceive to be multiple exposures. The most troublesome thing is this dry cough that I have had for 2 months and the allergist still can't figure it out. Honestly I do not remember getting a fever after either incident but I understand some people don't even get the "flue-like" symptoms. What are your thoughts?

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terry2005
Unregistered

Re: Two Potential Risks at Doctor's Office new
      #158148 - 08/04/05 02:56 PM

G-Man - I would like to go down the list of things that's happened since the 2 potential exposures. A month after touching the countertop at the doctor's office I had 3 nights of sweating (I have to tell you that I am female and am starting to go through the female change and the sweating could have been caused by that) or was the sweating due to the exposure a month after the doctor's visit. I also noticed that my tongue had a white coating on it (don't know if this is stress related or what but I have never noticed anything like this before) but I think that may have gone away the same day. I did not experience a fever. About a month or so after the thing at the dentist's office, I got a bit of a cold but again no fever. Then I got the tingling in my hands (both hands). I have slight tingling in my feet and at least once I have felt like the tingling went up my leg a little bit. I don't have any pain in my feet. The hand doctor I went to thought it was carpal tunnel in my hands but he can't seem to diagnose me properly. I went to a neurologist who also thought it could be carpal tunnel but I did not respond to cortizone shots. He thought the tingling in my feet was related to a medication I was on for my rheumatoid arthritis but I am no longer on that medication and am still experiencing the tingling in my feet at times. I am a little overweight and don't know if the tingling could be from that. And lastly, the dry cough which I now have had for 2 months. The allergist that has been treating me has ruled out asthma, no sinus infection and there is nothing in my chest because I had a chest x-ray and that was clear. He is putting me on a different nasal spray that I am praying works. Now I have read some posts on this website about people that are hiv+ (I would not presume to ask you about your situation but I pray that you are okay) and some of these folks have said that they have experienced some of the symptoms I seem to be having. Am I crazy or what? My fear is more for my husband than it is for me because we do not use condoms. Please tell me am I being totally paranoid. I will be going for a physical in a couple of weeks but don't know if I have the courage to ask the doctor to test me. I realize it would be best to know so you can take control of your life but I am an absolute mess over this. Whatever you can tell me would be appreciated.

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