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Author Topic: Coming up on 72 Hours, want to make sure PEP isn't necessary. Merry Christmas!  (Read 2805 times)

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Offline nc1434

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I know this is going to sound like a strange scenario but I just needed some professional reassurance, so that I could be myself over the holidays.

Here goes:

I was Christmas shopping yesterday and was pulled up at a street corner where a homeless man had a sign asking for money. He looked really nice and I decided to hand him a few dollars. Afterwards, we drove the rest of the way to the store, where I grabbed and ate a throat lozenger, then walked inside.

A few hours later I had a panic attack of sorts ( bad OCD) that I would have put myself at risk through this event. It was very cold out so the mans hands may very well have been chapped badly. I was wondering if this possibility ( blood on hands when handing him money) combined with me putting the lozenger in my mouth 4-5 mins later could put me at risk. I have quite bad acid reflux, so that's why I was using the drops, but I thought that might make it easier for something to get in my blood stream if ingested.

I know this situation is very strange, but would it put me at risk for HIV, hep, etc.?

I know homeless people have higher prevalence levels of these diseases.

If not, why?  My family said not to worry but it seems plausible to me.

Thank you and have a very merry Christmas!

Offline Andy Velez

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Instead of indulging in these groundless fears and fantasies you would be better advised to read our lesson on Transmission. There's a link to it in the welcome thread which opens this section.

This epidemic is going to be around for a long time to come and no one can afford to be uninformed about the basics of HIV transmission.

No, you don't need PEP. But you do need to become better educated. Today is as good as anytime to begin doing that.

Season's Greetings.
Andy Velez

Offline nc1434

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Thank you for the blunt answer.  I do suffer from OCD and sometimes it gets the best of me.

Just to clarify, though.  Why couldn't blood go from his hand, to mine, to my mouth, and then into my blood stream through my throat (that's inflamed and red from acid reflux)?


Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?

There's no way transmission would happen in that manner.

Sounds like you should get some professional help for that OCD. You don't have to live your life like that, but we cannot help you with that here.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Andy Velez

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I see you're still intent on cooking up what if fantasies instead of reading the Transmission lesson as I suggested. If you had done that you'd know the answer to your latest scenario.

You have to do some work, fella. We're not here to babysit your baseless fears. Really.
Andy Velez

Offline nc1434

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Thanks for the reassurance.  I just read the transmission lesson and I knew that HIV is normally transmitted via sex, needles, and mother-child, however, I also figured that it could be transmitted via blood.

I do apologize for sounding crazy.  With my OCD I have trouble separating real risks from "theoretical risks" and end up worrying about things that don't really happen in the real world.

I don't even know that there was blood on his hands; but it was well below freezing out and I know that couldn't be good for preventing cracks and bleeding.  Is the reason that this type of transmission is impossible because HIV dies once it's out of the body/ would it (in the worst case scenario), with blood going from his hands to mine and him being HIV +, die in the 4-5 minutes of driving before I ate?

Offline Andy Velez

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HIV is a fragile virus. It becomes non-viable very quickly. It needs the kind of receptive setting which occur with unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse to be transmitted effectively. I've never known of anyone to have become infected in the manner about which you are concerned.

Get on with your life and get some professional help about the HIV worry issue if you can't let go of this unwarranted fear.
Andy Velez


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