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Blood Splattered into my Eye

Question: 

I was doing a pap test when all of a sudden there is some bleeding, and it splashes into my left eye. I don't know the status of the patient, but what are my chances if this person is HIV - vs HIV +? Is it possible to contract HIV this way? I'm thinking that the mucous membrane of my eye is a entry point.

Thank you.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of acquiring HIV from blood that splashed into your eye during a pap test of a patient of unknown HIV status. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be Low Risk (evidence of transmission occurs through these activities when certain conditions are met).

The scenario mentioned above could meet the three components of the Transmission Equation if the blood that splashed into your eye contained HIV and was able to gain access to your bloodstream through the mucous membrane. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the likelihood of acquiring HIV if blood containing the HIV virus is splashed in the eye, nose, or mouth are about 1 out of 1,000 (1). These odds demonstrate that it is very unlikely to acquire HIV in this manner, but it is not impossible. Due to the unknown status of the blood that splashed into your eye, it is recommended to access an HIV test outside of the window period (3 months post-exposure for completely conclusive results from a 3rd or 4th generation HIV test).

Recommendation: Refer to a physician for an HIV test outside of the window period.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Marie