Anonymous
Hi.

I was at a friends house and he and his girlfriend had just had sex a few minutes prior. I was leaning on the bed and I noticed my hand hand touched sperm or some bodily fluid, I had a small cut under my fingernail. Could this have had a risk for contraction?
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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for contacting AIDS Vancouver with your question.

It sounds like you have some concerns regarding the possibility of acquiring HIV.

From what you have told me, you were at a friends' place and noticed that your hand, which had a small cut under your fingernail touched some sperm or other body fluid. HIV itself is very fragile once it leaves the body of the human host. Once exposed to air, HIV becomes damaged to the point where it is no longer transmissible. Furthermore, for there to be a risk of HIV transmission, there is 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. Taking this into account, you would be at No Risk of acquiring HIV from simply touching body fluids while having a small cut under your fingernail.

For open cuts to truly put one at risk of acquiring HIV, the open cuts need to be deep enough that one would need to seek medical attention and the body fluids would have to make contact with the open wound immediately.

Below I have attached a copy of an HIV transmission Equation chart, which goes into further detail on the necessary factors that are 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
For more information on HIV you can visit [About HIV and AIDS](http://www.avert.org/about-hiv-aids).

Regards,

Chris, Volunteer


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