Anonymous
So, to start off I would like to say I have OCD so this story may be a bit odd. I work in a hospital as a volunteer and on Sunday I had to stop by a patients room in Labor and Delivery to give some baby bracelets. When I went in kind of got in a panic because I saw some bags (I'm assuming IVs) and I instantly got scared of touching needles and stuff. Now, I don't know if I got scared of touching something after by mistake touching something or if this was just an intrusive thought. I know it sounds stupid but OCD complicates the shit out of it.

Now, my mom's a physician so she tried to calm me down by saying that a nurse would have told me to wear a mask or gloves or I don't know something more if I was going into a HIV+ patients room. I don't know how true that is. She also said that they wouldn't leave needles from a HIV+ person out like that. I'm sure thats true. My mind is just in a panic though (especially since I'm on my period right now and all gross and bloody)

So, I decided to get an HIV RNA test I found from stdcheck.com. I stayed up all night to research it and it seems reliable, especially since it seems like no one else in NJ will give me a RNA test. I'm just curious though, if this happened on this past Sunday and if I take a test Next Thursday (about 11 days after), can I ease my fears with this test? Based on other folks it seems like the test is 95-99% conclusive. Can I live my life normally after that? I'll use condoms with my boyfriend but should I fear transmitting stuff to other people in other ways (I don't know how exactly again, I have OCD so I'm paranoid).

I just don't want to wait for 3 months to have peace of mind so I was hoping this test could help me then I could retest. What is your advice?

to make things more complicated im on birth control (IUD) so I bleed pretty consistently. My boyfriend and I were having condomless sex during my bleeding so now I'm nervous about that. If I'm bleeding and I still wear a condom am I OK?
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline.

First off, it is important to remember that hospitals have a lot of cleanliness standards in place to prevent the spread of illness. This includes safely disposing of all used needles (regardless of the patient they came from).

Secondly, being in the same room as someone who is HIV+, touching objects they have touched, or casual contact, is not a risk of HIV. The situation you described is a no risk situation and there is no need to get tested.

Check out the transmission equation below for a clearer picture of how HIV is transmitted.

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION


BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection

For more information about HIV you can visit CATIE.ca or the AIDS Vancouver website.

I hope this information helps to answer your questions.

Isla (Volunteer)

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1-844-INFO-HIV (Toll-Free in Canada & USA)

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION