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HIV FROM EARRING

Question: 

I changed to a shared flat and I share the bathroom with a person that I think has HIV, since he is gay, very effeminate and he is 48 years old. My problem is that I was going to pierce my nose, but I did not go in, I obtained blood from the force I exercised, I cleaned it with hot water and antiseptic. But it fell in the sink.

After that I did not remember what I did with the earring, I was in a hurry and I wanted to use that earring. Now I am scared because in the wash I could have been infected with HIV and impregnate myself in my piercing before putting it on and bleeding.

NOTE:

This man goes to work at 5 am, I did it in the afternoon, around 1 pm.

* I did not see liquid blood as such.

* Now I feel flu symptoms and the event happened 1 week ago. I’m in a risk?

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about acquiring HIV from a possibly contained earring. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

In order for transmission to occur three conditions must be met: bodily fluid containing HIV having direct access to the bloodstream of an individual who is HIV negative through a high risk activity (1).

In this scenario HIV could not have been transmitted. Although you punctured your nose with an earring there was no evidence of your roommate's bodily fluid. HIV does not survive outside the body for long including drying fluids on surfaces (1). Even if there was bodily fluid present over the course of those hours the bodily fluid containing HIV would be rendered inactive. Although your roommate may be in a high risk group of acquiring HIV, simply being an individual that is apart of a higher risk category (ie: men who have sex with men) does not automatically mean the individual is HIV positive. The symptoms of flu can mean many things and because HIV symptoms mirror other viral infections or can be explained by other things getting testing is really the only way to know (2).

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle