OCD, HIV, and Donation

Question

Hi doctor, first I'd like to donate some money to your foundation, which I will do so first thing before work tomorrow morning! I just had a quick question for you...

I have pretty bad OCD about HIV, I had taken 10 Rapid tests in 3 months at HIV clinics. I have finally gotten over getting tested!! But now, I worry about those 10 times going into the clinics if I had touched the door knobs/handles after having paper cuts and dry and minor peeling hands.

Is this a risk if there was blood on any of these door handles, or tables or chairs? Having minor cuts and peeling hands?

I also have used the restroom at the clinic a few times, what if I sat on or touched HIV infected blood? (I am a woman)

I feel so worried because I have been in and out of these clinics so much, what if I'm bound to touch a bloody surface? This is strictly a clinic that deals with HIV+ folks. Please give me some insight, thank you so much.

One LAST question, does this even sound like OCD or just hypochondria? Do you feel like therapy would help? I look forward to your response :)

Answer

Hi,

Your concerns about visiting HIV clinics, touching doorknobs or other inanimate objects and using the restroom facilities are completely unwarranted. If HIV were that easy to acquire, why would anyone go to a doctor's office, hospital, STD clinic or HIV testing site??? And what about all the folks who work there? Do you think they are all HIV infected or that they don't have to pee during the day? Come on; be reasonable.

OCD or just hypochondriacal? I say perhaps a bit of both, but definitely more on the OCD side. Psychotherapy is indeed warranted. More testing and/or more worry are not.

Dr. Bob