Anonymous
Hi,
I am a 14 year old male living in the USA. 30 minutes ago I sat on an office chair. rubbed my hand against the side of the chair and felt something sharp poke my hand. I also felt something cold and sticky near the cut. I knew it could not be blood, because blood is warm. I moved my hand to look at the cut. There was something white, cold, and sticky on my hand near the cut. At first, I thought it was mucus, but it looked too white to be mucus. I realized that it looked a lot like semen. I freaked out and ran to the bathroom. I washed my hands 4 times, making sure to scrub the cut thoroughly each time. I know there are rumors about pin prick attacks and people getting AIDS. Please help. Do I need to go to a doctor?
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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It sounds like you are concerned about the likelihood of acquiring HIV from the described scenario.

While your experience sounds quite horrific, it is important to note that one cannot acquire HIV from an inanimate object. For there to be a risk of HIV transmission, there needs to be a body fluid, an activity such as unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, and a direct access for the virus to enter the bloodstream. Furthermore, once exposed to air the virus begins to breakdown immediately and is no longer transmissible. Thus, even if there may be a body fluid such as blood, semen, or vaginal fluids on an inanimate object, you would still be at No Risk of acquiring HIV in this manner. There is no need to go to a doctor. For the cut to pose a risk of one acquiring HIV, it needs to be deep to the point that one would require emergency care.

Below I have attached an HIV Transmission Equation chart, which goes into further detail about the necessary factors required for there to be a risk of HIV transmission.

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
There is a lot of misconception about HIV, and accurate knowledge is probably the most efficient tool to protect yourself. For more information on HIV you can visit [HIV and AIDS Basics](http://catie.ca/en/basics/hiv-and-aids#what).

Regards,

Chris, Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)

helpline@aidsvancouver.org

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION