Anonymous
I was beside a co-worker when he accidentally cut his finger with a paper cutter. He turned around to get some tissue paper to treat his wound and accidentally touched by hand during his move. Some of his blood was transferred to my hand. I did not have open wound on my hand at that moment. I rushed to washed my hands with water and soap immediately.

I would be most grateful for knowing whether HIV would be transferred to me in this case (I have no way of knowing whether my co-worker have HIV or not). Is it necessary to get medical examination?
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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.

It is important to note that HIV transmission has to do with the activity and not the individual. 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, the HIV virus is quite fragile and once exposed to air it is no longer transmissible. This is due to the virus becoming damaged once it leaves the body. Thus, you would be at No Risk of acquiring HIV from the described scenario, especially since you had no direct access for the virus to enter your bloodstream.

Below I have attached an HIV Transmission Equation chart, which goes into further detail on 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
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