1) I was walking along the street & a gay man who was 3 inches away from me spat spit out of his mouth while he was standing with his face facing my face. I saw his spit fly out of his mouth a couple of inches past my face but I am not sure if it hit me or not as it happened so quick so it may have been closer to my face than I thought or even in my face, I did sense like I felt something hit my face but not sure if I was imagining that. I checked my face very carefully 10 hours later too see if there was any blood but could just see red marks which looked like petechiae & other just little red marks which stayed on when I washed my face but a couple seemed to disappear & there was one little red mark which washed off. No idea of his HIV status
2) On a different day to the above event I met a lady at an event who I didn’t know & we spent the day hugging & holding hands only. Then 4 hours later after I last saw her I looked in the mirror for the first time & saw a small bit of blood an inch under my ear lobe & washed it off & it stung. The next day there was a small round red mark there. I started to worry that maybe she had stabbed me with something maybe a syringe with a needle in while hugging her or maybe I cut myself on her ear ring or an item of her clothing or something. I didnt feel like Id been stabbed while with her that I remember. Her friends who were with her at the time are in the medical profession & have access to syringes/needles & even have some at their home, they said they had drugs with them but they then said they meant medicine. No idea of her or her friends HIV status & this lady & her friends have since cut all communication with me, they don't know about my worry.
Dr Id appreciate it if you could give me a straight Yes or No answer to these two questions
1) Was I at risk of HIV from the two situations I describe?
2) Do I need to be tested for HIV from the two situations I describe?
The problem with OCD, as you well know, is that once an aanxiety-based idea settles in, facts alone usually are not effectuive at dislodging it. BEven when there is intellectual understanding, OCD tends to generate "what if" or "yes but" scenarios that seem logically to be exceptions to the general rule. However, I can tell you that what I am about to say is the abolute truth, with no exceptions.
HIV is hard to transmit. Even with unprotected sex, with infected semen deposited deep inside the body, the chance an infection will take hold is about 1 in 1,000. In the entire 30 year history of the known worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, nobody ever once caught HIV from the sort of events you describe. If the virus could be so transmitted, AIDS would be ten or a hundred times more common than it is, would occur in people who do not have sexual or blood exposures, and would not be classified as a sexually and blood transmitted disease.
So the direct answers to your questions are that you are at zero risk from the events described and for sure should not be tested on account of them.
I hope you find these words reassuring. But even if you do not, I'm not inclined to answer more questions about it. For the reasons above, resolution of your fears will probably require professional management of your OCD, not additional facts and evidence from this forum or any other expert. I hope you understand.
I saw this before responding above. It makes no difference in my response. (Among other thngs, HIV is not transmitted by saliva -- which kills the virus and is one reason oral sex carries little or no risk of transmission.)
Thank you Dr, I have literally not been able to go out the house for fear of catching HIV from a event like the first event, I feel now since talking too you that I can go back out the house again.
Yes I think in terms of my worry with the first incident, the spitting incident, it was because I was worried there might have been blood in his spit that might have gone into one of my mucus membranes such as my eyes, nose, mouth, ears or my shaving cut I had on my face. Is your answer still exactly the same in regards with my worry about there might have been blood in his spit that might have gone into one of my mucus membranes Dr?
I have literally not been able to go out the house for fear of catching HIV from a event like that, I feel now since talking too you that I can go back out the house again and enjoy life and not worry about HIV
I hope you indeed can start to get out again. But it sounds like you have a rather severe case of OCD manifested in part by irrational fear of contagion. I'm not a mental health expert, so take this with a grain of salt. But if this problem isn't limited to HIV fear, and you're the sort who worries about being around people on account of other infections, or fear of shaking hands, using doorknobs and public toilets etc, I would strongly urge you to get involved with sophisticated, highly professional mental health care. Such symptoms can lead to truly severe mental health disability; for an excellent example, rent The Aviator, the film biography of Howard Hughes (and a pretty good movie anyway, with Leonardo DiCaprio).
Thank you very much Dr, I have been on the waiting list for sometime now for CBT. I have spoken with my GP about my irrational fears, such as someone coughing or sneezing around me etc etc and he just said to me "there is no risk of you catching HIV like this and you don't need to be tested for HIV from someone coughing or sneezing next to you even if you felt the sensation of the persons cough/sneeze on your face even if there was blood in the cough or sneeze". Since then eachtime someone in my house coughs or sneezes I just think of what my Doctor said too me and I don't get the panic attack and anxiety that I use too, so much so that now I hardly even need to think of what the Doctor said too me now when someone coughs or sneezes in my house next too me and I'm almost at the point where I don't even notice. I am not too sure why just the Doctor telling me this had such a good dramatic effect on my recovery. My Doctors also told me this on other things which I no longer have the fear off either.
Just this fear of the spitting thing since the event happened in my first incident which I have not spoken to my Doctor about as of yet due to my not being able to leave the house has really got a strangle hold on me as almost every-time I went out the house I would see people spit while walking along the street etc. So I don't go out the house due to the fear of someone spitting while I am out now and catching HIV. Which was why I was really hoping you don't mind me asking you this following question, am I correct in thinking that in the first event I describe, the spitting event, even with my worry about the "what if" there was blood in his spit that might have gone into one of my mucus membranes such as my eye, nose etc or the shaving cut that was on my face, that I was not at risk of HIV in event 1 and don't need to test for HIV due to the event I describe in event 1?
I'm sorry, I'm not going to answer. This is a "yes but" or "what if" question typical for OCD. Answering will not stop your mind from coming up with others; it is never ending and is a waste of your time and energy and my own. There is never a last question that comes to mind.
Trust me on this: THERE ARE NO CIRCUMSTANCES YOU CAN THINK UP THAT WOULD CHANGE MY OPINION OR ADVICE. NOBODY EVERY CAUGHT HIV IN SUCH CASES AND THERE IS ZERO RISK.
That will have to end this thread. I will delete any further questions. Call it "tough love" if you like, but that's the way it will be.
Mary, I'm sure you're a lovely person. But you ignored my comments above and tried yet another "what if" question! I deleted it. Re-read all my replies above and concentrate on every word. One more question and -- with apologies in advance -- the entire thread will be immediately deleted.
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