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Splatter

Question: 

Im David from Barcelona, Spain. I work in security and a hiv man who was trying to injure himself inside a vehicle with bleeding wounds on his face was sprayed with hoses with water by firemen. I was standing on the side of the vehicle outside the driver's window that was open and I splashed some water on my face and eyes. Is there a risk of spraying him in the face and mixing the water with the blood of his wounds and splashing on my face and eyes? Thank you for your help. ****

Answer: 

Hello David,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility that blood contaminated water could provide a risk for HIV acquisition.

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk: (transmission of HIV is not possible with the given scenario). Given this person was sprayed with hoses, the ratio of water to blood that would have splashed onto your eyes likely could have been very low. Even so, this scenario does not fulfil the requirements of our HIV Transmission Equation, as it does not involve a direct exposure to the bloodstream.

In this situation, any blood that would have been lost by the injured man would have been quickly rendered inactive through its exposure to the environment. HIV does not survive long outside of the body, and any exposure to water/oxygen would have caused any HIV positive blood to quickly reduce in concentration, making transmission nearly impossible (1).

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