Anonymous
I had my blood drawn this afternoon, and I noticed that the nurse who withdrew the blood didn't change her gloves after failing to draw blood from my hand the first time. I saw her put on the gloves before attempting to withdraw blood from me, but I didn't see her put on a new pair of gloves after failing. I'm asking this question because she was tossing the old blood draw kit into the garbage can, and I am afraid that her tossing the old kit away with those gloves on could result in cross-contamination, even though I know inanimate objects cannot transmit HIV, and that HIV dies once exposed to air. I guess I'm wondering who else had blood draw kits in the garbage can when she was tossing my old kit before successfully drawing blood from me with the new blood draw kit. I'm worried about wet and dried bodily fluids (blood in particular). Okay, thanks.
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for your question!

You are correct in that inanimate objects cannot transmit HIV because of the exposure to air and a lack of human host. This same idea applies to any bodily fluid that may have been on that garbage can that the nurse may have touched. Any bodily fluid present on the garbage can could not transmit HIV to you because it no longer has its human host. Once HIV+ fluid hits the air, the virus dies because that is not the place it likes to live. Viruses need hosts. For these reasons, there is no risk in this situation.

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you need further clarification.

Best,

Caroline

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online Volunteer

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1-844-INFO-HIV (toll free Canada & USA)

Email/forum: http://www.helpline.aidsvancouver.org

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