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Are activities in which both people bleed on each other considered "No Risk" for the transmission of HIV?


My friend, who was a HIV care provider, claims explicitly that "no one has ever transmitted HIV through wound to wound contact" and that therefore there is no significant risk to hockey players transmitting HIV in a fight like this, presuming one of them carried the disease.
Is it true that wound to wound contact, poses no significant risk?


Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission from wound-to-wound contact of two individuals. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be Negligible Risk, where there is no evidence or no documented cases of transmission, but there exists a theoretical possibility of transmission under certain extenuating circumstances.

In order for this to occur, the HIV Transmission Equation must be fully satisfied. In this case, HIV positive fluid from one individual, must be directly exposed to the bloodstream of another person (such as through broken skin or deep cuts/wounds/sores) (1).

However, in order for HIV transmission to occur in this circumstance, there must be no opportunity for HIV positive fluid to be exposed to oxygen from the outer air/environment, as HIV does not survive outside the body (1). This condition makes it very difficult for HIV transmission to occur in this circumstance. Furthermore, most individuals living with HIV take antiretroviral therapy (ART), which can help one achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, and therefore no longer able to transmit HIV to another individual (2).

To summarize, there is a Negligible chance of HIV transmission occurring in this situation.

Recommendation: There are no evidence or no documented cases of transmission. Refer to a healthcare professional for more personalized answers.

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Shirley