Please Hekp me quickly Dr Bob -- I am very very frightened-- I give a large donation (HIV TRANSMISSION FROM FINGERNAIL SCRATCH, 2010)


Dr. Bob,

I ma very scared.

I went to shake hands with a HIV + person during a convention today. This was a black man and they had a very unusal handshake. Grab, Hug, twist the shake and pull back quickly.

When the gentleman pulled back on his hand shake,,,, his nail scrateched the inside of my finger. I can see the scratch and I think I can see a little blood come from the scratch from his nail.

Excuse me for the grammer errors if there are any ,, I am scared and shaking as I am writing this. I got diahrrea immediately from anxiety.

Dr. Bob .. Lets say he scratched me enough to make the scratch bleed a little ... or just make it bleed period. What are the chances of me catching the HIV virus this way???

I am so scared.

Paint every situation... that you could from this incident.

Please,,, Please answer me quickly Dr. bob as the anxiety is really affecting my life.

I will give a very nice doantion so I need the address as well.

Please study my question very carefully Dr. Bob.

Thank You Dr. Bob,,,, Thank You,



Hi Linda,

Grab, hug, twist, shake and pull back quickly??? Hmm. Sounds like the latest craze at the dance club. Even if you did get scratched, and even if the dude doing the grabbing, hugging, twisting, shaking and scratching was "virally enhanced," and even if the secret handshake did scratch you enough to draw blood, your HIV-acquisition risk is completely nonexistent! I've answered many similar questions in the archives! Have a looksie! I'll repost below a small sample of what you can find there.

Be well. Stay well. Stop worrying. OK? I'm going to try to master that uber-cool handshake (minus the scratch!).

Dr. Bob

nail scratched (HIV TRANSMISSION FROM FINGERNAIL SCRATCH, 2009) Nov 3, 2009 Dear Doc I am helping PLHA in one of small organization in our country. last week I got nail scratched by HIV + person on my left arm accidentally and that person on meds since 7 years ago.I got two small cut and I washed my arm and I put Septadine immediately.So I went to see the Doctor and explained about that Doc said I don't need to take any pep or something cos I am not @ risk and HIV can't transmitted in that way.Can you answer my question please? Forgot to mention that I got two cuts on my arm and not very big. First I saw white and then red only very few blood came out.

Advertisement Response from Dr. Frascino


I agree with the advice you received from your doctor. HIV is not transmitted by being scratched by an HIVer's nails. (See below.)

Dr. Bob

Nail Scratch Aug 24, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob - I have a question for you which at first I think is crazy and then my hypocondriacizm sets in. Today I was at the mall and man helping me at the store handed me something and scratched my finger. I see the red mark where he scratched me and it stings although I did not bleed. Should I be at all concerned I could have been exposed to HIV? Who knows what was on/under his fingernails. I am not trying to be sterotypical, but the man was defaintly gay. I realize that HIV can affect all men. Again I am a rational person most of the time, but I googled and that is never good for a person who can get themselves all worked up from time to time. Should I go to the doctor to get checked out?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your "hypocondriacizm" has indeed struck again! Your fears of HIV acquisition from sustaining a scratch from the nails of a "defiantly" gay man are nonexistent.

Dr. Bob

Massage parlour manipulations! Jul 8, 2008

Hello to one helluva human being (aka Dr.Bob!) You can teach the whole G8 a thing or three about humanity!!

I have a quick question that requires your expert opinion - have found a Chinese massage parlour where the ladies genuinely give a good body rub. These girls use their hands, feet, knees and elbows to knead into you. My situation is this: Have been there a couple of times. The last was three days ago, where the lady had me lie on my back, rolled down my tanga's ( I was bare-bottomed), and proceeded to give me one heck of a rub-down ( dry, no oil). Later into the session she stood on my back, walked across my back kneeled on all fours and crawled on my back, etc. This morning ( three days later), I noticed a long scratch on my butt ( about 5 cms. long, and 1 mm. wide), which had already scabbed over with a dark scab ( i.e my blood had obviously come to the surface when this cut occured) Looking back I can only remember the back massage, and assume that the lady's fingernail/toenail had lacerated me during the vigorous work-out.

What are my chances in a worst-case scenario ?( i.e assuming she was +). Do I need to get tested ? A lot of these massage-type girls do engage in sex after-hours for additional income, so status is always uncertain...

Also, I know that this parlour's girls sometimes give a hand-job to finish off the session - how risky would this be ?

Your time and answers are definitely needed here - I have donated before and will do so again...

thanks in advance , kind sir!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Relax Max! Your HIV-acquisition risk is nonexistent. HIV is not transmitted by fingernail or toenail scratches, even when sustained on your butt by Chinese Masseuse contortionist going all Cirque du Soleil on your naked backside. HIV testing is not warranted.

As for getting a happy ending to your rub-a-dub-dub, handjobs are not considered an HIV-transmission/acquisition risk.

As for the G8, well let's just say they all seem a bit uptight. Perhaps your massage gal could loosen them up a bit?

Dr. Bob

Finger nail Oct 30, 2008 Short and simple. Can you get HIV from someone scratching you with their finger nail? I was helping a co worker with something, and she scratched my hand. It was a tiny cut, like half an inch. I don't think it bled, but it did sting and is still kind of red. Is their any risk. I'm worried she had an unnoticeable amount of blood under her nail. She just gave blood to the red cross, and they just called her to give more. Is that a good sign? I'm sure they screen...actually I know they do. But I'm still worried. Please help. I started a donation circle at my work to help out with the foundation. You do so much for us hypocondriacs :)

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your concerns are completely unwarranted. Yes, blood banks screen very carefully for bloodborne pathogens, including HIV, to protect the blood supply. So that gives you some level of comfort about the scratcher's HIV status. Second, and even more importantly, a nail scratch is not a method of HIV transmission. See below.

Thank you for your compassionate efforts to begin a "donation circle" at work for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. What a marvelous idea! I've always found that whatever I give to help others in desperate need is always returned to me a thousand times over in myriad ways. Please personally thank everyone in your circle and give them all a cyber-hug from me.

Be well. Stay well. (Yes, indeed, you are well!)

Dr. Bob

Brothers living together one poz the other not May 7, 2004

I didn't think I would ever ask this question b/c I do believe the HIV is spread by sexual contact only (except in rare cases). However, my older boy 21 has HIV he lives at home and is very healthy. My younger son doesn't know about his brothers diagnosis. The other day they were play fighting and my sons nail scratched my youngest and made him bleed. I feel like I know better but have to ask the question if this is a possible way to transmit (no exchange of blood). I have read alot about the disease and am trying to not make my son feel like he is labelled in his own house so we don't panic everytime a hair brush is used. However, I am a little fearful since sometimes we all forget and get a little to comfortable. He is currently on meds and viral load 0. Thanks for being there - even for Mom's like me.

Response from Dr. Frascino


I'm here especially for "Mom's like you" and for anyone else who needs information or my humble advice.

You are absolutely correct that HIV is not transmitted by casual contact, a scratch from someone's fingernail, or by a hairbrush. You mention you are a "little fearful since sometimes you all forget and get a little too comfortable." I agree you should never "forget." I'm sure your son doesn't. However, I also strongly feel you all should be very, very "comfortable" with your HIV+ son living at home. In order to accomplish this, I have a few suggestions. First, all family members should be told about your son's illness. Depending on the age of your younger son, age-specific information should be provided so he understands his brother's illness. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, have a family meeting with your son's HIV specialist. He/she should be able to help. Next, all questions, concerns, and fears should be addressed openly as a family. You should even develop a list of these concerns to review, as a family, with the HIV specialist. By doing so, I think you'll find the proper balance between living "comfortably" and the realities of HIV in your home.

Good luck, Mom! Happy Mother's Day! Hug your HIV-positive son for me, and let him know I'm here for him as well if he had need of my services or friendship.

Dr. Bob