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Questions about HIV transmission

Question: 

Hi! First off i want to thanks to everybody on AIDS Vancouver staff for the help they are providing for humanity and apologise for my lack of knowledge in this subject. Recently i made 20 years and i started to take action to take care of my health. With that, my anxiety hits me hard with a lot of questions and concerns that i never had before.

1°: I want to know if HIV can be transmitted by dry blood on broken acne. I was on college and on my jaw i had a pimple that was broken, later i passed my hand on the location. I really don't know if there was dry blood on my hand, but if had, is possible?

2°: I want to know if HIV can be transmitted through gnawing nails.

3°: That is my biggest concern. So, i was masturbating on my bedroom under my blanket and my penis was exposed to the fabric of the blanket. Later i found a bit of dryblood. I don't know if was mine or if my penis touched that spot, but my question is: HIV can be transmitted that way?

I read that HIV needs to go into your blood stream and acne is not a very profound wound that would put somone on risk. I read also that blood coagulates fast without the proper ambient... I read a lot and i think that was what made my anxiety wake up.

Sorry if some of my questions was already asked, but i think i will chill out if i ask them and i really hope that my questions will provide some help to people that are starting to search for more information on the subject.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. We appreciate your feedback and are continually striving to provide adequate and comprehensive answers to all questions brought to us. We are passionate about what we do and welcome any/all questions regarding HIV.

From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the following:

1) Can HIV be transmitted through the exchange of dry blood to a pimple through casual contact?

2) Can HIV be transmitted through nail biting?

3) Can HIV be transmitted through contact with blood on environmental surfaces?

In this instance, all three of these questions involve HIV exposure to open surfaces/air outside of the body. For this reason, each/all of these scenarios are deemed to be of no risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario). Although each of these individual scenarios involve bodily fluid (blood), each context does not appear to foster an opportunity for transmission. If you were to come into contact with HIV positive blood (if this blood is found outside of the body) it is important to consider that HIV outside of the body or on drying bodily fluid is rapidly reduced in concentration and subsequently rendered inactive. Thus, creating an extremely unlikely environment for transmission to occur.

With this considered, casual contact with dry/drying blood to acne is not considered to be of any risk (despite information on open sores). Please consider the following:

You'll see that "open cuts and sores" are listed under the "direct access for the virus to enter the bloodstream" column in our HIV Transmission Equation. However, the types of cuts that are included in this category are cuts that are big enough to require medical attention (i.e. actively bleeding and needing stitches). Also, freshly popped pimples would not be considered open sores (1).

In regard to nail biting, saliva in the mouth does not provide a opportunistic climate for HIV transmission (2).

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

Best, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Cody