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Scared of hiv

Question: 

I was recently incarcerated and during this is was attacked by a fellow inmate known to be hiv+ I didn't fight back for fear of drawing blood but received several scratches from her fingernails that drew blood on me. I saw a Dr who said there was no risk of infection and thus didn't test me but I'm still scared jail is a very dirty place what if she was touching herself privately before scratching me couldn't it be transmitted that way?

Answer: 

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

It seems you are concerned about contracting HIV from scratches by an HIV+ individual. We are glad to provide some information.

For HIV to be transmitted through a wound or cut in your skin the cut has to be so deep that it requires stitches and there has to be a lot of blood from the other individual on to the cut. The skin provides much better protection that the mucosal membranes in the vagina or penis. Even if the other individual had touched her private parts before scratching you, there is no risk because when HIV is exposed to air it does not transmit. The transmission equation below will indicate the methods by which HIV is usually transmitted.

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

We agree with your doctor that there is no need to worry.

The AIDS Vancouver Helpline Online forum has postings that are related to your question that you can read for additional information. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us again.

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

In health

Lawrence

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
helpline.aidsvancouver.org