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in a taxi

Question: 

hello. i am quite freaking out although my brain tells me, this might be ok. but i need some feedback from professionals (thank you very much in advance!). i took taxi with my 9yrs old son. him sitting in the back, me in the front, only when we started, i noticed some strange things. not very clean car, the driver was weird, looked like junkie, pale, skinny, laughing strangely, and then I noticed he was high! (then I asked him to stop). I thought such thing was not possible, but it looks like it is. his hands were full of some strange scabs, not healed completely, looking red and fresh, and now I am completely out of my mind. Please, in case, we touched the interior of the car, (especially my son fell on the bike and had some scratches, not healed yet and you know, some small wounds and scratches as every 9yrs old has), he also keeps picking his nose and biting his nails. When I am nervous I touch my eyes and nose and I have herpes in my nose at the time. In case we did touch some blood, which maybe was fresh, is there any risk please? he opened the door and we both touched the same doorknobs immediately, etc.. and in case there were some other bodily fluids old some time but not completely dry yet... (as you can see i am completely paranoid now) thank you very much. maybe this sounds unbelievable and awkward but it is true and I am really out of my mind for the second day,... (maybe i am so stressed because this situation seems so... unreal.

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for your question.

The situation you have described does not carry a risk for HIV Transmission (No Risk). HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, nor is it transmitted via environmental surfaces.

In order for an HIV transmission to occur, all three of the following conditions must be met:

1-There must be HIV present in a bodily fluid. The five bodily fluids that carry the HIV virus include: blood, semen (including pre-ejaculate), vaginal fluids, breast milk, and rectal secretions.(1) In the situation you have described, the HIV status of the driver is unknown, and there is no evidence that you came into contact with his bodily fluids.

2-The bodily fluid containing HIV must have direct access to the bloodstream. (1) Touching your eyes and nose when you potentially had traces of a bodily fluid on your hands would not provide adequate access to your bloodstream, due to the small volume of fluid and the fact that it would have been exposed to air.

3-Transmission occurs through a risky activity in which the first two conditions are met. (1) Examples of risky activity include unprotected anal/vaginal sex and sharing of hypodermic needles for injection drug use.

Scientists and medical authorities agree that HIV does not survive well in the environment, making the possibility of environmental transmission remote. Additionally, HIV is unable to reproduce outside its living host (unlike many bacteria or fungi, which may do so under suitable conditions), except under laboratory conditions, therefore, it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host. (2)

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

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer, Dyson