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HIV Question


Hi, Thank you for your help. This is the incident that I am worried about.

Last night, I was taking a walk with my young daughter. She stepped on something while we were walking and asked me to pull it off from the bottom of her shoe. I pulled what looked like a crumbled band aid off her shoe. Then when I dropped the band aid on the floor, I noticed that it had quite a bit of blood on it and a little bit of the blood had rubbed off on my finger. I had some hand sanitizer in my purse and I squeezed some on my hand and then I washed my hands when I got home. However, now I am scared that the blood might have been HIV positive and I got the blood on my finger. I did not notice any open cuts on my finger but, I do have some raw cuticles because I bite my nails. I am very scared.

Am I at risk of getting HIV? Should I get tested?

Thank you very much for your help.



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about acquiring HIV through picking up a band aid with blood on it and blood transferring on to the finger. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the transmission equation. The transmission equation requires HIV to be present in a bodily fluid with direct access to the bloodstream through a high risk activity. In this case the bodily fluid is present, but the transmission equation is not satisfied. Direct access to the bloodstream can be through cuts, tears, rips, mucous membranes, open sores, or needles (1). A high risk activity includes: unprotected sex, sharing needles, unsafe tattoos or piercings, vertical transmission–from mother to child (in utero, during delivery, breastfeeding) (1). In this scenario there appears to be no direct access to the bloodstream and there is no high risk activity in this situation.

It is important to note that HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside a human host (2). The blood transferring on the band aid then again onto you would state a significant amount of time resulting in HIV becoming inactive in the environment. HIV outside of the body or drying HIV causes a rapid (within several hours) 1-2 log (90%-99%) reduction in HIV concentration (2).

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


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle