« Go Back

Paranoid about HIV


Hi everyone, Hope ur all doing well!

Yesterday at my pathology lab work experience, I was told by one of the lab assistants to have a go at scanning the bar codes on the blood samples which were concealed in long tubes, so being there for experience, I gave it a go. However, later I realized that I wasn't wearing any gloves and remembered what the main pathologist said to not to touch any blood samples. I washed my hands after 2hours of realizing. I had a small fresh paper cut on my finger that day too. Is this a risk of getting HIV or any other viruses? Please help!


Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

We want to let you know that coming into contact with blood on an object carries No Risk of transmitting HIV since, the virus becomes damaged after body fluids leave the human body and, it cannot enter a human body from the outside. The fact that you had a paper cut does not increase the risk of HIV transmission here since, these do not provide direct access to the bloodstream, which is required for a risk of HIV transmission to exist. Wearing gloves during medical procedures is a universal guideline that may protect you from many other pathogens in your environment but, the fact that you were not wearing gloves does not put you at-risk of acquiring HIV in this situation.

In the future, we may suggest discussing other guidelines that may be in place to protect you, and your peers, in the workplace with your administrative staff. We cannot say for sure if other viruses are transmitted similarly to HIV or not. Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.



AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)


Private & Confidential