Anonymous
Hi, previously I went for a volunteering activity in which we provide blood glucose checkup using glucose meter for some villagers. 1 hour before the activity started my friend tried to check for my blood glucose but he pricked the lancet too hard into my left middle finger and it bleed slightly heavier than usual. I wiped away the blood and the bleeding stopped shortly after without any apparent wound. When the activity started we were provided with only a glove which i wore on my right hand. We then helped the people who attended to check for their blood glucose with following steps: wipe the participant's finger with alcohol swab, use lancet to prick on the finger, squeeze blood by using left index finger and thumb, wipe again away first drop of blood with alcohol swab, squeeze again and take the reading then apply cotton wool to the prick. HIV statuses of the participants were not known and as far as I remember my left middle finger did not have any contact with the participant's blood (hopefully) and I handled the cotton wool and swabs with only right hand with gloves on. The only thing is that my left index finger touched the prick site of one participant when the blood hasn't started to flow out. Though I had runny nose and feeling sick 3 days after the event, but no fever or rash or pain thus far. Am I in any risk and should I go for HIV test?
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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source for HIV/AIDS related information. I will try my best to help you by clarifying some things!

Based on the situation you have described, you are not at risk for HIV. Let me explain by showing your our HIV transmission equation. To get HIV, you must have all 3 factors present.

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
As you can see, you have none of the factors listed in the table and for that reason, you are considered not at risk. Even if you were exposed to blood, the blood from the other people would have already exited their body and been exposed to the environment. When HIV is exposed to the environment, it is broken down and no longer transmissible. Due to the fragile nature of HIV, direct access for the virus to enter your blood stream is necessary, this is not present in your situation. The finger prick on your left middle finger is a direct access point. For cuts, wounds and sores to pose as access points, they must be large, deep and actively bleeding. These cuts usually require medical attention and this is not the case in your situation.

To summarize, you are not at risk and you do not need testing based on this situation. If you would like to know more about how you can actually get HIV, you may refer to this webpage regarding [HIV transmission](http://www.avert.org/hiv-transmission-prevention/how-you-get-hiv). You may also visit out website to read about the [risk levels](http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart) associated with different situations.

I hope this clarifies things for you. Please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions.

Best wishes,

Mary

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org

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