Dear Dr. Bob,
Regards from Turkey.
I read almost every query in your forum and you may say why the hell are you still writing to me but...i am sorry.
Since 1996 I have that fear of HIV.
I had many incidents that i perceived as exposure and you know perception is reality.
I married in 2004 and it was a hell to have the pre-marriage HIV test. It was neg.
In the beginning of 2007 we plan to have a baby and my HIV fear popped up immediately and I got stuck with these non sexual risks.
I know now that this was an obsession due to the stress.We can only make a baby with IVF (we both have thallasamia threat) and my psychology was no good. That period was horrible. I was officially diagnosed as OCD and heavy depression. Threated with 200mg lustral/day, risperdal and xanax when needed..
During last days of 2008 my fear popped up again.I wrote you about a handshake thing then and you said "be well stay well, u r indeed well:)" 2 elisas after that and all neg.
Our attempts to have IVF failed last time.
We gave a break. Because of my OCD our marriage was almost over.
We managed to restore.
Next month we plan another IVF but unfortunatelly my anxiety popped up again and I remembered an incident 1 year ago.
I was at the car park and the vallet brought me my car keys.
While he was delivering me the keys his fingernail touched the place my fingernail meets my thumb.It was just a blink of the eye long touch.
I have psoriasis and at the time of the touch, it was a bit irritated with no open wounds or bleeding. Just red irritation (2,5X2mm).
I didn't see if the guy's fingernails/fingers had any sort of blood or not.
I immediately wiped it with those hygenic wipes, checked if any blood smeared on the white tissue and none.
2 mins later I took pictures of my thumb in case i will need later. I knew one day i would need that. (Uhhh and the time came)
My obsession continued after photo shoot, i wiped hard enough for around 5 mins and i could see some almost nonvisible red dots after that.
When i am back home I washed hands with soap and water, squeezed it hard to see if it bleeds. and after squeezing very hard for sometime again it hardly bled.
Dr. if he had blood on fingers, is this incident an exposure or not..or thats pure casual contact and classifies as a f*** fear of HIV again?
Any case next month I will have another elisa since its always mandatory before IVF here.
While expaining things to you, i am really scared if i am clear or not....
Please turn back to me.
I checked your site and a donation is on the way.
Thanks a lot.
I'll be brief, as your current concerns are again completely irrational and unwarranted.
You ask "is this incident a f***ing fear of HIV again?" The answer is absolutely yes. Your problem is not HIV, but rather irrational fear of HIV, which appears to be ruining your marriage, happiness, health and life! Your OCD is once again OOC (out of control). I strongly urge you to seek the ongoing help of a competent psychiatrist. HIV is not your problem, but you do have a very significant medical problem that requires ongoing treatment. HIV phobias, like yours, tend to recur and can worsen without appropriate intervention and treatment.
I'll reprint some of your previous posts below as a demonstration to others of how irrational fears of HIV can evolve into a recurrent and very significant medical problem.
Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). I do hope you will seek and receive the psychiatric care you need without delay.
Dont want to be another worried well, Regards from Turkey. Sep 22, 2008
Dear Dr. Frascino,
All the best from Turkey. I have been reading you for sometime and I am quite sure that the writers of the TV series "Dr.House" are inpired from you when creating the character:). I do like the way you approach to problems and respect your knowladge. I would not write my worry as i know that it will waste your valuable time however I need your opinion. I am a married guy since 2004 and been with my wife since 1997. No extramarrital affair. No drugs. We both are thalassemia carriers and we will have that artificial insemination thing next week. We both tested before and the tests were negative. However, 1 month ago when i was at the gym and as I was adjusting a weight of a machine, I suddenly saw a brownish thing on the knob of the weight. It was like a dried blood. I checked my hands and nothing i could see. However I went to the toilet and washed my hands immediately. I continued my routine. Next day back to gym..checked the knob. That brown thing was still there. Although it was less. I let this go. After 3 weeks i got sick. Almost every year during winter changes I have upper respiratory infection and it was the same. Some antibiotics, some pus coming out. Coughs and yellow sputum. And during that all of a sudden my fears of HIV appeared. I remebered i have psoriasis on my hands. Yes it sometimes cracks and bleeds but never on fingers and palm. And at the time of the touch, as always nothing like open wound (I mean nothing like a crack..no bleeding) was on my finger tips. Anywas my question..you understood already Dr. :) Could i be infected from a such scenario, HIV from dried blood to seemingly intact skin of index and mid fingers with little dead skin. I will be having a mendatory HIV before that artifical insem. thing but the days arent passing. Unfrotunatelly i am very worried. I hate to ask u such a question but ..ohhh i dont wanna be a documented case. Thanks in advance and wish u all the best. Sinan
Response from Dr. Frascino
Relax! Your HIV-acquisition risk is nonexistent. HIV does not survive in dried blood. There are many similar questions in the archives. I'll reprint a recent one below.
Be well. Stay well. (Yes, indeed, you are well.)
Dr Bob, please do your magic regarding a "Dental Scare" Sep 18, 2008
Dear Dr Bob, I have been reading your various answers on this site for some time and I must congratulate you your answers are not only factual, but also give a human touch to what is otherwise a very stressful and worrying time for many people. Not many people are able to do this just from writing, and I take my hat off to you and all the staff at TheBody.com we will be lost without your help and support through these most difficult of times. Now normally, I would not be asking questions like this, but there is a niggling doubt in my head that I just cant seem to get rid of, and hence ask for your expert opinion as to my risks I have been very stressed by this recently, even though my wife tells me not to worry. Last week, I went to the dentist and had some root canal treatment. The dentist kept adjusting the light that shines in my mouth with his gloved hand while operating on me. I noticed that there may have been some blood on the lamp handle, and that he was touching this and then proceeding to finish his work. I know for sure that that last patient was seen about 14 hours earlier. Assuming the last patient did have HIV, and the glove did touch the contaminated light handle and was then used on me, what are my risks? Im hoping that within 14 hours any small amount of blood that may have been transfered onto the lamp would have dried, so is it true to consider that dry blood = dead HIV virus? In other words, even if this dry blood did get into the blood stream, it would not cause HIV infection. Your help and support is very much appreciated, and be assured that your help will go far beyond my humble self. Many thanks. Naz
Response from Dr. Frascino
Relax! Your HIV-acquisition risk is zero. That's right: zip, nada, zilch, null, bupkis! HIV does not survive very long outside the body. Your assumptions that dried blood equals dead HIV virus and that even if the dried blood did get into your blood stream it wouldn't cause an HIV infection are correct!
Be well. Stay well. Stop worrying!