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Sneezing and coughing incident?

Dr, please can you help me with this incident.
I was sitting on a bus and there was this guy got on and sat right next to me, so close that there was no space between us. During the journey he was sneezing and coughing. My anxiety was getting more and more as the time went on. When I got home I wet some toilet paper and put it into my ears. I saw what looked like red about the size of 3 periods at the end of a sentence on the toilet paper when I took it out of my ears. I don’t know if this was blood from him when he coughed and sneezed or if it was blood from me or even if it was blood for sure.

Please can you answer my following questions Dr?

1) Was I at risk of HIV from this event?

2) Do I need an HIV test from the event I describe?

Thank you Doctor.
1 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the forum.

You had accurate replies on the community forum.  It is impossible to catch HIV in this fashion and you do not need testing.  If the virus could be transmitted as you fear, HIV/AIDS would be a hundred more times as common and would not be classified as a sexually transmitted infection.

You correctly described your only significant health problem in your question on the HIV International forum a week ago, and I agree exactly with Dr. Cummings' advice.  Irrational fear of contamination is a mental health symptom, sometimes the first step toward serious psychological disability.  (For an excellent example of where it can lead, rent "The Aviator", the film biography of Howard Hughes.)  Please seek professional counseling about it, which I suggest out of compassion, not criticism.

Regards--  HHH, MD
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