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Avatar universal

HIV fear and Breastfeeding

Today I touched a doorknob that a co-worker had just touched.  I noticed just after that this person had a nosebleed.  I went to the washroom and washed my hands.  

Then about 15 minutes later this co-worker used my pen and I for a moment I forgot they had that nosebleed and picked it up after. Then I accidently scraped my knuckle on the desk drawer and it started bleeding.  I touched my cut with my finger.  Then I remembered that I had just touched a pen that the person with the nosebleed had touched and then touched my bleeding cut.

I am now terrified that I have contracted HIV or Hepatitis.  I realize that this is kind of far fetched but the problem is that I am breastfeeding and I am scared that it might be possible that I contracted something and now I could give it to my baby.  I am so scared to breastfeed him.  I think if it were just me I could get past this but I keep thinking what if my baby gets HIV from this.

6 Responses
1699033 tn?1514113133
COMMUNITY LEADER
Read this....

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html

It helps to be educated about the ways that HIV is transmitted and what you have described is not one of the modes of transmission.  
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response. I read the information on the website you referred me to. I'm still having a lot of trouble letting this go. It's says on the website that "less commonly HIV can be spread by contact between broken skin or wounds with HIV-infected blood"  So now I think that my cut may have been in contact with HIV infected blood.
I keep trying to replay every detail of this over and over in my mind and now I think that I may have touched the doorknob again too before I cut my hand and I know that I touched my cut right after I cut it so I would have touched a very fresh bleeding cut.  So I'm scared that I had HIV blood on my hand that I touched my cut with.
I also read that HIV cannot be spread by touching doorknobs or environmental surfaces. And I'm thinking that they probably mean direct contact with cut and blood.
I went to my doctor over this and he said that there is no chance of catching HIV this way.
But I just can't let it go. I'm having trouble sleeping and every time I breastfeed my son I think the whole time that I'm giving him HIV over this exposure. I'm even thinking of weaning him now because of this. My doctor said I can get tested in 3 months to put my mind at ease but then I think it will be too late if I'm breastfeeding my baby for 3 months and then find out I have it, I would of already transmitted it to him..
I don't know what to do about this. If there is any chance even a remote one I would like to wean my son.. Do you think I should?
1699033 tn?1514113133
COMMUNITY LEADER
What they mean when they say HIV cannot be transmitted by a doorknob is that once HIV comes into contact with the air, it is no longer viable.  It dies.  So it cannot be transmitted this way.  When they say "less commonly HIV can be spread by contact with broken skin or wounds with HIV-infected blood" that means that you have to have an open wound and you need to take that open wound and grind it against an HIV-positive person's bleeding wound to have any chance at all of spread.  

I want you to think about this.  If I took a needle that contained HIV infected blood and poked myself with it, I would have less than a 1 percent chance of becoming infected.  That is when there is actual HIV present AND I am jabbing it deep into my tissue...less than 1 percent.  

HIV does carry a stigma with it and nobody wants to get it but the reality is we are very, very lucky that HIV is not like the flu virus because then everybody would be infected.  HIV needs to be in a host in order to live and air is not a host therefore no survival once it leaves the body.  

I think you need to talk to your doctor about scheduling you an appointment with a psychologist because the reality is you have HIV anxiety or health-related anxiety and it needs to be dealt with.  
Avatar universal
Thank you very much. You have really helped me alot and everything you say makes sense.
Your right that I have some health-related anxiety.  I have been on medication in the past and I am going to go back on when I'm finished breast-feeding.
Thanks again! I really appreciate your information and advice.
Avatar universal
Ok. So I finally put this behind me was not worrying about it anymore and now today a similar thing happened and I am freaking out again.

A teenager at work had a nosebleed and as he was wiping the blood from his nose, he handed me a piece of paper.  I tried to not touch the paper by balancing it on another but I ended up touching it anyways. I didn't notice any blood of the paper but he had blood on his hands and the kleenex he was using.  

I also don't have any bleeding cuts this time but my hands are very dry from washing them all the time and cracked. I also have a cut that has a scab on it from a few days ago on my thumb.

I keep reading your past answers to try to stop worrying about this but I am so anxious about it and am now scared to breastfeed again.

Some logical part of my brain is telling me that I can't get HIV this way but the OCD part of my brain is still looking for reassurance. How do I stop worrying about this?  Do you think that there is any way I could get HIV from this?
1699033 tn?1514113133
COMMUNITY LEADER
No you can't.  Try to think back on how you beat this before.  Do some controlled breathing to get yourself out of the anxious state so you can think better.  
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