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HIV risk from possible touching of blood stains in a curtain?


So I went to a public hospital to accompany a friend recently. We however need to go to the laboratory to get some results but along the way we have to pass a corridor with a door with a curtain. When I passed there, I noticed some blood stains and spots in the curtain which apparently looked dried to me but I was not very sure but I needed to move away the curtain so we can get through the hallway. I was not sure if my hands touched those blood spots but then after maybe an hour, I was very thirty and need to look for a canned drinks and of course I needed to open the can with my hands and fingers. Suddenly, I was hit with concern if it is possible to get HIV this way if my hands and fingers touched those blood spots and then I touched the lid of the canned drinks and drank through it. I mean my hands could have touched the blood spots then got transferred to the canned drinks and then through my mouth. Is this possible? Im worried if I should get tested. Thank you.



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

HIV is acquired when the three components of the transmission equation are satisfied. The three components are: bodily fluid containing HIV having direct access to the bloodstream through a high risk activity.

In this scenario there may have been blood present, but there was no direct access to the bloodstream or high risk activity involved. HIV positive blood must enter the bloodstream through cuts, tears, rips, mucous membranes, open sores, or needles (1). HIV quickly becomes inactive when exposed to the environment, therefore the blood drying on the curtain should not bring up a concern for acquisition (1).

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


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle