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Risk of getting HIV from bus seat

Question: 

Hello, I was riding the bus when suddenly I looked at the back of my shirt and saw that a pimple popped. Is there a risk of the virus getting through my shirt since the blood from my pimple went through my shirt?

Answer: 

Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions. We're happy to help!

To start off with: the scenario that you described is a no risk situation. Here is a copy of the AIDS Vancouver Transmission Equation that we use to determine if there is a risk for HIV Transmission:

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION

BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection

= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION

In order for there to be a risk of HIV transmission, all 3 factors (body fluid, activity, and direct access to the bloodstream) must be present. The main thing lacking in your interaction is direct access to the bloodstream. In order for a cut or wound to provide said access, the cut needs to be gushing blood and require immediate and professional medical attention. A superficial wound (i.e. a pimple) like the one described in your question does not provide direct access to the bloodstream.

Here are some great resources to help further your understand about HIV Transmission:

Avert and CATIE are two fantastic and reliable website concerning HIV transmission and testing, and I highly encourage you to take a read through if you have any further questions.

I hope I was able to answer your question, and feel free to contact us with any further concerns.

Regards,

Sierra, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
helpline.aidsvancouver.org