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Fresh Blood on Environmental Surfaces

Question: 

Hello. I am stressed about a situation that happened in canteen today and need your support (thanks a lot!!) just typical canteen, in which you grab your cutlery and tray etc yourself. In the middle of waiting in the row I noticed the worker right in front of me in the row has a very bad and fresh abrasion (whole forearm), not dripping blood, but very very fresh. from time to time he touched it just to check it or something, while touching the things I did touch immediately like the piles of cutlery and trays and napkins... I noticed too late when already having my lunch... Please is there any risk, if I touched some piece of blood he may left on these things if I immediately touched my cutlery and food? I also touch my eyes and nose often due to itching allergy and I don't know if I had or did not have any of his blood on my fingers... :( and now I am quite stressed when thinking back about it. Thanks a lot!!!

Answer: 

Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission from a fresh wound to food or environmental surfaces. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be of No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario). HIV is rendered inactive when exposed to oxygen in the environment. The virus does not survive long outside of the human body and cannot reproduce outside of its human host. Thus, touching your eyes or eating food exposed to blood is not a risk of HIV transmission, and there is no need for a HIV test for you in this given scenario.

Best, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Cody