Anonymous
hello,
please help my anxiety... someone smashed the wine glass in the bar and this scratched my palm - one of the cuts is 3 mm long and might be some 2 - 3 mm deep. it is not very visible. like when a piece of glass stitches under your skin.
question 1 - if the guy sitting next to me also did scratch (he did) and this was by the same piece - am I at risk?
question 2 - today I did not see any blood during day in the cut and it was covered. by i did not notice the bandaid then unsticked and I was sharing shopping cart, doorknobs, etc with many other people at many places. I would not mind but when I came home and did control the wound I saw visible fresh blood there - this one I think was mine - the cut was not bleeding it was like when you have this "stitch-kind cut" which bleeds only a little inside and you can press it out but it is not like bleeding. and that meant the wound was still ... open. or it did re-open somewhat during the day. please am I at risk if I accidentaly did come in contact with other blood - my work is with many manual workers who have many accidental small wounds and cuts etc etc? thank you very much!
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It sounds like you are very concerned about this situation! However, you need not be. The situation you have described poses no risk for HIV transmission.

This is because, for HIV to be transmitted, you need all 3 of the following components:

1) A specific bodily fluid from someone who is HIV positive (blood, semen, pre-cum, vaginal/rectal fluid, breast milk)
2) A way for the fluid to contact your own body (unprotected sex, sharing needles)
3) A way for the virus to enter your bloodstream (through the vagina, anus, urethra in penis, mucosal membranes, points of needle injection, or deep cuts)

In your scenario, the cut on your own hand that you have described is not deep enough to provide access for any virus to enter it. Furthermore, another person's bodily fluid being present is hypothetical- you don't truly know if you came into contact with anything. Lastly, the HIV virus actually dies when it is exposed to air. This means that any blood, etc. on the shopping carts or other things you have described would not pose a risk to you.

Also, don't worry about your co-workers' cuts contacting your hands or the cuts on your hands. The same principles listed above apply to this scenario as well.

I hope I have answered all of your questions! If you have any more, please feel free to post again, visit our website http://www.aidsvancouver.org, or give us a call.

All the best,

Caroline

Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline

604-253-0566 ext 299

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm
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