Anonymous
If a person steps on blood with their tennis shoes, is there any possible way that they could get HIV? Should you toss your shoes, or just clean them? Or maybe I am being paranoid. I'm just wondering.
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

Stepping on possibly contaminated blood while wearing shoes constitutes no risk of HIV transmission. It is important to note that HIV cannot be transmitted casually. For there to be any risk of HIV transmission, several conditions would need to be present. These conditions include the exchange of bodily fluids + engagement in high risk activities (such as unprotected vaginal/anal sex, sharing needles) + direct access to the blood stream.

Thus, the situations as you described it puts you at no risk of HIV infection for the absence of the conditions listed above. Additionally, HIV is a weak virus that cannot survive for more than a few seconds outside of the human body. Even if we assumed that the blood was contaminated with the virus (which is a big assumption by itself), it is very unlikely for it to be alive by the time you or anyone else steps on it. Shoes act as a protective barrier and it is safe to assume that there is no direct access to the blood stream.

I trust that I have answered your question. For further information, please feel free to contact us again. You can also visit our website at http://www.aidsvancouver.org for additional information on HIV risk and testing.

In Health,

Malath
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