I would like to ask you advice. 2 days ago I was at the gym, and during my trainig I cut my middle finger. It was a bleeding cut, but I didnt notice it until I shaked the hands of some of my gymmates there with my bloody hand. My question is that is there any risk that I catch HIV if I shaking hands with a bleeding cut ? Maybe it's a silly questions, but I'm not expert in these things and I was scared a little bit.
Thank you and Best Regards, Balazs
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver helpline.
We understand that you are wondering if it is possible for you to acquire HIV from shaking hands with other people while you had an open cut on your finger. We don't consider this to be a silly question and are happy to help.
Shaking hands does not carry a risk of HIV transmission, even in this scenario where you have a bleeding cut on your finger.
Let's consider the HIV transmission equation. In order to acquire HIV the following conditions must be met:
There must be HIV present in a bodily fluid. The five bodily fluids that carry the HIV virus include: blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and rectal secretions. You do not mention any evidence of bodily fluids on the other peoples' hands
The bodily fluid containing HIV must have direct access to the bloodstream. This can be through cuts, tears, rips, mucous membranes, open sores, or needles. Theoretically, a bleeding cut does provide direct access to your blood stream
Transmission occurs through a risky activity in which the first two conditions are met. (1) Hand shaking is not considered to be a risky activity.
Let's consider the unlikely possibility that the person you shook hands with had HIV infected blood on their own hands. HIV is very fragile, and many common substances, including hot water, soap, bleach and alcohol, will kill it. Air does not "kill" HIV, but exposure to air dries the fluid that contained the virus, and that will destroy or break up much of the virus very quickly. (2) Additionally, HIV is unable to reproduce outside its living host (unlike many bacteria or fungi, which may do so under suitable conditions), except under laboratory conditions; therefore, it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host. (3)
There is no need to be tested for HIV following the event you described
Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer, Dyson