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DoctorAnil, Doctor
Category: HIV and AIDS
Satisfied Customers: 11028
Experience:  M.D with over 30 years of experience in practice.
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For the past few years, I have had certain obsessive

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For the past few years, I have had certain obsessive thoughts concerning HIV infection. I recognize that these thoughts are extreme and yet I have difficulty separating necessary worry from realistic ones.Recently, these obsessive thoughts and fears have become more pronounced. I am now worrying that my person, clothing, and various possessions can be infected from something as innocuous as a public bathroom. Please bear with me while I attempt to address a few that are continuing to bother me.Number One: I recently went out to a restaurant and while there I went to a public bathroom. Unfortunately, this bathroom had everything that makes my life difficult. (A) It had what looked like red spots in the basin and I was afraid it was blood. I worried that water struck the blood and "ricocheted" it back up onto to my hands. I the. Ate food. (B) The bathroom was not equipped with paper towels but instead a hand dryer. Therefore, I had to turn off the sink, and open the bathroom door, with my hands. The sink and bathroom door seemed wet which I am afraid could be body fluids from another person. In addition to my hands, my clothes also touched the sink, doorknob, etc. After I exited the bathroom, I ate food with my hands. Also, my hands and clothes touched my silverware and food, which I then consumed. (C) My shoes stepped in wet fluid in the bathroom and I dropped my napkin onto them. I then returned the napkin to the table and it touched my food and silverware, which then went into my mouth (D) Finally (concerning the restaurant), my dinner companion was a business acquaintance with whom I was previously unfamiliar. When we shook hands, his hands felt wet. I feared he may have bodily fluids on them. He then proceeded to touch some food which I also consumed, and I touched (and ate) my own food and silverware after touching him.Number two: I recently stayed in a hotel. While taking a shower, I noticed something red next to the soap holder. I may have touched this red spot (which could have been someone else's blood) and then touched my mouth/face or an open wound. The soap also may have touched it and then been on my face, mouth, or an open wound. Secondly, at the hotel, I had my dog. My dog has a tendency to sniff around toilets and the like. Afterwards, he licked my face and shared some food with me. I'm worried he touched a toilet and then licked my face or got someone else's fluids (from the toilet) on my food, which I ate. Finally, when I got in the bed, I felt what could have been a "crust" on the sheets. My hands or a wound may have touched this crust and then my mouth or an open wound. I fear this could have been someone's body fluids.Finally, rereading these above-referenced concerns helps me to see that my fears sound frankly "nuts". Is it fair to say that HIV cannot be contracted unless one of the following occurs: 1) Unprotected sex (of any type) with someone infected, 2) Sharing intravenous drugs with someone infected, 3) A blood transfusion from someone infected (which is unlikely to occur with current screening procedures, 4) Being born to an infected mother (which definitely did not happen). As long as these 4 things do not occur I do not have any risk for HIV, correct? HIV cannot be contracted from surfaces and it does not pass along like the flu, common cold, etc (contamination)? None of my aforesaid worries #1-4 (and various sub-parts) are grounded in any legitimate concern? I, and my girlfriend, do not require testing for any of the foregoing and I can continue to have unprotected sex with my girlfriend (whom I do not want to infect or be infected by)?I apologize for the length of my question, but I just want to be as thorough as possible so I can move on and live my life without this anxiety and ease concerns. Thank you so very much for your time and assistance.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you. I am a board certified consultant with over 30 years of experience.I’m reviewing your question and reply you soon.

I understand your concern.

Well as you describe,I would like to assure you 100% that chances of HIV transmission from those incidents are nil.

As long as these 4 things do not occur you do not have any risk for HIV.

HIV cannot be contracted from surfaces and it does not pass along like the flu, common cold, etc (contamination).

You and your girlfriend, do not require testing for any of the foregoing and you can continue to have unprotected sex with your girlfriend.

Just relax and move on in your life.
Let me know if you have any further query so we can discuss it thoroughly in every aspect.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your response. Is it correct that there would be no concern of HIV infection even if I had an open wound that came into contact with a door potentially wet with someone's body fluid? How about if there was a high volume of fluid on the door and/or my wound touched it immediately?

Sorry for late reply and inconvenience.

For HIV transmission, It should be deep open wound 1 inch with an active bleeding.

So chances of HIV transmission in your case with that incident are very less likely.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
no need for testing or change in my activities?

No need for testing.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
A 1 inch wound would be the type that requires stitches, correct?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you,

Yes, it should have active bleeding at the time of exposure.

So don't worry at all.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I hate to continue to be a pest, but I might very well have actually been bleeding. But I am pretty confident it would not have been 1 inch deep.

I really assure you definitely that you are safe.

If you are still worrying then you should consider HIV testing for your peace of mind.

Otherwise no need.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for your time

I wish for your good health.
Kind Regards

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
One final scenario, Doctor: What if I touched a wet body fluid on the public door and then before washing my hands I scratched a scab until it bled? Any risk? This is my last follow-up. Once again, I appreciate your time and apologize for being a nuisance.

No this is not a risk factor.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks again.

Kind Regards