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Scared for my baby

Question: 

Hi there,

Thank you so much for this service. I have a relative that is HIV positive and I was recently with him. As he was saying goodbye, he touched my babies hand for a brief few seconds. Afterwards, I realized that my baby had a hangnail. I didn't see any bodily fluids on his hands but if by any chance my relative had a bodily fluid on his hands and then touched my baby is there a any chance that my baby could become infected? I am worried sick! My baby also recently had an ear infection, now every little thing I am worried is HIV. Thank you so much in advance for any possible insight.

Answer: 

Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission through casual contact between someone of HIV+ status and your baby.

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario). This scenario does not satisfy the three components of our HIV Transmission Equation because there does not appear to be any open wound (aside from a hangnail) with a substantial amount of bodily fluid that would have direct access to the bloodstream. Casual contact with others such as hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing a toilet, or sharing dishes are all not considered avenues for HIV transmission.

It is important to consider whether the relative is being actively treated for HIV with ART (Antiretroviral Therapy). Those who are diligent with their treatment can reach undetectable levels of HIV making the virus virtually untransmittable (Please refer to Undetectable = Untransmittable for more information).

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

All the best,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Cody