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Author Topic: Worried? Please help  (Read 1933 times)

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Offline fred23

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Worried? Please help
« on: March 19, 2008, 05:20:43 PM »
I'm very worried about whether I've possibly been infected with HIV.  A few weeks ago I shook hands with someone who was HIV positive.  At the time, I didn't think anything of it.  But maybe 15 minutes later when I went to the bathroom, I noticed that there was blood on my hand and on my nose.  I know that you cannot contract HIV unless you have an open sore, so I'm not worried about the blood on my hand.  But what I'm worried about is that when I shook this gentleman's hand, he got blood on my hand, and then when I brushed my hand against my nose, I got blood all over my nose.  I know that the nose is a mucous membrane.  Is it possible that I could have gotten HIV if the blood got into my nose?  What happens if I somehow snorted the blood all the way up my nose?  Please help.

 

Offline anniebc

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2008, 05:38:55 PM »
No this is not a risk, please read the Welcome Thread and follow the lessons on how HIV is and is not transmitted.

HIV infected blood has to get into the blood stream through open sores, deep cuts etc, etc, the virus does not survive for more than a few minutes outside of the body...blood dries very quickly on the skin it's doesn't seep through skin...it's not enough to be in contact with infected fluid, healthy unbroken skin is an exellent barrier against infection..you have nothing to worry about.

Jan
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 05:42:10 PM by anniebc »
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 05:48:55 PM »
It's good that you brought up this concern. This epidemic is going to be around for a longtime to come. No one can afford to be unknowing about the basics of HIV transmission. HIV is a fragile virus and is not easily transmitted. It requires a very hospitable setting.

The incident you are concerned about doesn't even remotely provide that nor do kissing, hugging, spitting, masturbating mutually, touching in other ways, (except for vaginal or anal intercourse) provide such a circumstance.

You're worrying needlessly. As Jan suggested, please read the transmission lesson.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline fred23

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2008, 05:32:07 PM »
Thanks for the responses, I think this forum is great.  However, could you please be more specific why you think I'm not at risk?  I believe you when you say I'm not at risk, but it'd go a long way in easing my mind if you could tell me specifically why you don't think I'm at risk.

Again, what I'm afraid of is that I shook someone's hand who was HIV positive, he got blood on my hand, and then I wiped that blood on my nose.  15 minutes after the handshake I saw blood on my nose and possibly inside my nose.  I am also worried that I may have snorted the blood way up inside my nose.  I have read that it is possible to get infected if blood gets inside your nose. 

Thus, my question is whether you can get infected if infected blood gets inside your nose.  You stated earlier that my incident is not high risk because infected blood needs a "hospitable setting."  So are you saying that the nose is not a hospitable setting?  If so, then why do several sites state that you can get infected if blood gets inside your nose?  Is there absolutely no way I could get infected by the above mentioned incident?  Has there ever been any reported non-healthcare setting incidents where someone has been infected by blood getting inside their nose?  Why are you so sure my incident is so low risk?

i'm sorry to ask so many questions.  I'm just still very worried...so i'd be so grateful if you cold be as specific as you can be with your answers, it'll go a long way in easing my mind.  Thanks so much in advance. 

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 05:51:31 PM »
OK. You need to read or re-read our lesson on Transmission. You'll get the basics there. HIV is a fragile virus and is not easily transmitted. You had some blood on your hand possible it reached your nose. Let me tell you that if it was that easy to transmit HIV in such a manner we would have known long before today. HIV requires a very receptive setting such as an anus or a vagina to begin to have a serious possibility of transmission. iWhat you have described may seem to you to be unique, but in fact is among many very common life occurrences such as accidents, fights and such. Iit doesn't even come close to the setting I am talking about.

I've never known of transmission to occur in that manner and you aren't going to make history by becoming the first. You're filled with all sorts of anxiety and other feelings. Fortunately feelings aren't facts. You have no basis in HIV science to be worrying. Take a breath, let it go and get on with your life.   
Andy Velez

Offline fred23

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2008, 02:40:52 PM »
Thanks again Andy for all of your help.  I promise that this will be my last question on the subject, but there's still one thing that is bugging me.  The CDC states "HIV can enter the body through a vein (e.g., injection drug use), the lining of the anus or rectum, the lining of the vagina and/or cervix, the opening to the penis, the mouth, other mucous membranes (e.g., eyes or inside of the nose), or cuts and sores."

I believe you when you say that the inside of the nose is not a hospitable enough setting.  But then why does the CDC state that HIV can enter the body through the inside of the nose?  Again, I am worried about a scenario where blood got inside my nose and also its possible that I accidently snorted the blood all the way my nose.  A thousdand thanks again for all your help in easing my anxieties.  Also if Ann could chime in as well, I'd be hugely appreciative. 

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2008, 05:16:21 PM »
"Can" is very different from "does." What the CDC is doing is covering its butt by saying what is theoretically possible. In the real world of HIV transmission just doesn't happen that way. Whether you choose to believe me or not you are worrying needlessly. In more than 20 years of working in the epidemic I have never known of a case of transmission in the manner you are concerned about. I feel safe in saying you aren't going to make history by becoming the first.
Andy Velez

Offline fred23

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 12:53:41 AM »
ok, very last question and then i promise, promise you'll never hear from me again, really.  just bear with me please.  so you're saying that I could have snorted infected blood all the way up my nose and I'd still be ok?  that seems almost unbelievable. 

thanks so much for all your help again.  before talking with you I was totally freaked out...

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 08:30:59 AM »
As far as your "snorting" fears, we have sometimes heard from people who were worried about having shared a rolled dollar bill  which had or might have had some blood on it while snorting cocaine. I can tell you I have never known of transmission to occur in such a manner. Never.

And in your case, while you may have had some blood on your nose, you were hardly in the position to be sniffing and snorting it up your nose. You're really anxiously hanging around in the domain of what ifs. What if that happened. It didn't happen. And if it did, HIV is a fragile virus and the event you have described was hardly the hospitable one necessary to make transmission possible.

Once again I will say you are worrying needlessly. Really.
Andy Velez

Offline fred23

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OCD Question(s) and Concerns
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 12:42:45 PM »
I posted earlier about a concern I had about there being blood from an HIV person being on my nose and possibly inside my nose.  Andy has absolutely assured me that HIV cannot be transmitted by infected blood through the nose.  And yet, I still go through all of these “what if” scenarios in my mind; like “what if” I snorted the blood all the way up my nose, or “what if” the blood got through my nasal passage, etc. 

I think it finally dawned on me that I may have a mild case of OCD.  I think I’ve shown symptoms before; I always have this habit of making sure everything is off (like I’ll check the stove like 5-6 times to make sure its off, or I’ll walk back to my car just to make sure I locked the door).  But my symptoms haven’t been so bad that I’ve really noticed it.  But I think that since my incident with the blood on my nose, it sort of has triggered my OCD. 

So here’s my question(s) about OCD.  Should I go see a doctor to get it properly diagnosed, or can I just safely assume I have OCD and just self-diagnose myself? (I think I’m pretty sure I have a mild case of OCD).  Assuming that I have OCD, what are the best ways of treatment?  I think that I only have a mild case of OCD.  I’m not totally freaking out about it, but its sort of like a splinter in my brain that I can’t get rid of, where I always have these doubts as to whether I’m infected or not.  I don’t think that I have a serious enough case of OCD to require medication or therapy.  I feel like if someone could just tell me that “there’s no way, no how” that I could get HIV by infected blood through the nose I'd feel a lot better.  I also feel like if I knew for a fact that I had OCD and that all my anxieties were OCD related and not actually a real or a legitimate fear (and that I really have nothing to fear), then I believe that I could, at that point, manage and control my OCD by myself without any help. 

I’ve also thought about reading some self-help books like the OCD Workbook and Brainlock.  Is anyone familiar with these books?  And does anyone know if they would be helpful in alleviating HIV/OCD related fears?  Are there any other methods of treatment besides therapy and medication?  Are there any HIV/OCD specific books?

I don't have a lot of money for expensive treatment and medication.  So I'm basically looking to handle and treat my OCD by myself.  So any advice/guidance anyone has would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

 

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Worried? Please help
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 02:50:19 PM »
Hi,

I've merged your threads. Please keep all of your comments in this same thread. Thanks for your cooperation.

As for your concern about OCD, you will have to decide if the situation is making your life unmanageable or not. Just how problematic is it in your life is the issue. I do appreciate when finances are a concern when thinking of getting professional help. You might think of having a talk with your doctor about it and see what might be recommended or open as possibilities for you. Self-diagnosing is something I'm wary about. Talking with another person such as your doctor may help with getting some perspective and some support. We can't provide that for you here.

Good luck in getting some support. It's good that you're thinking about addressing the concern.
Andy Velez

 


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