Hiv from paper clip.. don't laugh!

Question

Hi. My roommate is hiv positive and I have lived with him for 4 months.. He told me that I did not ever need to be afraid of catching it from him and I was okay with that. I have been secretly a little afraid but I was getting used to the idea.. then the nurse at the clinic scared the BLANK out of me. My roommate was cleaning his teeth with a paper clip (gross huh?) I had a really bad cold sore on my mouth and we were talking and I felt a drop of spit land right on my cold sore. I got worried because i could see that he ahd a little blood in the conrer of his gums where he had been picking. The nurse told me because I had an open sore that there is a small risk and I need to be tested in three montha and again in six months. My Dad is pissed and is threatining to call the school and make them put me in a nother room cause he feels I am too distracted from school over this.. he may be right. I kinda like my roommate though he's kinda a dork but he's a nice guy, I can't believe this is happening to me. What should I do? Do any of you doctors know if I am really at a bad risk or not.

Answer

Hello,

I do not agree with the advice you were given by the clinic nurse. Your HIV-acquisition risk is so remote it's essentially nonexistent. Your fears of contracting HIV from casual contact are completely unwarranted. Spend some time reviewing the wealth of information on this site related to how HIV is and is not transmitted. Then share that information with your dad. I would urge you not to change roommates! Rather than a virally enhanced nice-guy dork, you could wind up with a flatulent serial killer who listens to nothing but Barry Manilow at full volume day and night.

Happy Holidays.

Be well. Stay well. Nol.

Dr. Bob