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strange blood

Question: 

hello. i have this problem. used to have hiv ocd and took me several yrs to be ok. now it is back because of very stupid situation - shopping. I wanted to pick some potatoes in the market and while choosing the best ones I picked one which was covered with blood on the other side. I stood completely frozen. The stain was some 2-3 cm wide and no, it was not any red fruits, the colour was of blood (after those years I learned not to be afraid of only blood-looking things which do not carry blood at all, so I am sure, it was blood). I dont know how much wet it was. I put it back and continued shopping (tried to follow my therapeutical methods, which did always work, calm down, breathe etc). Only later I really checked my hands, and i have some small cuts and scratches on my hands and also one only semi-healed pimple-like thing. Now, later on, I cant assume if in that stress I did not touch my eyes or so (I do this in stress). And I also cant assume if I had that blood on my hands (therefore I am also not able to say how much wet the blood was. Anyway it at least looked fresh). The other thing is, is the research still in that course, that hiv cannot live on objects? I did of course touched other things in my cart with that hand and I could wash it only after buying some wet napkins. Thank you very much for your help, I really do appreciate it. Yes this post seems a bit stupid even to me when I re-read it, but this time I need some external "force" to calm me down...

Answer: 

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

Although these situations can often be troublesome, I'm happy to let you know that the situation you've described is No Risk for two reasons.

1) HIV cannot be transmitted from inanimate objects; it needs direct bodily fluid contact, such as through unprotected sex, to be transmitted. HIV, once exposed to the environment outside of the body, becomes inactivated and damaged, and the virus can no longer be passed on. This means that any bodily fluids that are out of the body, such as blood on a surface, pose No Risk for HIV transmission!

2) Even if there was a risk from the bodily fluids, you still wouldn't be able to get infected in the manner you described, because there's no direct access to the bloodstream for the virus to establish an infection. A cut needs to be severe, such as one that's gushing blood and requires medical attention like stitches, to provide this direct access to the blood stream. Small cuts, scratches, pimples, broken skin, etc, do not provide direct access, and are therefore No Risk in terms of HIV transmission.

I am attaching the HIV transmission equation for your reference:

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

I hope this helped!

Sincerely,

Christina

AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline

helpline.aidsvancouver.org

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