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HIV through abdominal ultrasound? Should I be concerned?


I went to get an abdominal ultrasound (not vaginal) this past Monday, just the regular one that they do with the probe on top of your belly. I am concerned because I think the probe was not cleaned, and I am afraid the patient that was seen before I was seen could have had HIV and lacerations or skin sores and the probe could have been contaminated.
I normally would not worried, since I know intact skin cannot allow the virus in. However, I had an irritated pimple and it had some inflammation around it. So I was afraid that if the probe was contaminated with some blood, then I could have been exposed to HIV through my irritated pimple. Is this possible?

P.S. I am not sexually active, and I don't use any needles of any kind, so the possibly contaminated ultrasound machine probe on my belly on top of irritated people is my only concerned.



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about acquiring HIV through a contaminated medical machine to the area of inflamed skin. 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 bodily fluid, high risk activity, and direct access to the bloodstream (1). This scenario does not complete the equation because there is no high risk activity (unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, sharing needles, and mother to child), and no direct access to the bloodstream (vagina, anus, urethra in the penis, open cuts and sores in theory , other mucosal membranes, and points of needle injection) (1). Please consider this quote from CDC: "HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside a human host (2). Therefore the contaminated surface would render HIV to become inactive (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