Anonymous
Dear Helpline,

I am a health care provider. I was assisting a patient and a very small amount of urine from their catheter flicked through the air and hit my neck / face area. I have no cuts to my neck or face. I am unsure if the urine went in my mouth ( it was a very small amount that I felt sprinkle onto me). I rinsed my mouth out well and brushed my teeth / cleaned my neck and face. Nothing went into my eyes or nose. There was no visible blood in the urine, however, it was concentrated due to dehydration / illness. I don't have any big gaping cuts in my mouth, however, mouth tissue is very thin and hard to know if there was a little cut here or there ( I had no bleeding in my mouth or from my gums). It is a high risk patient. I do not know if they were positive at all. I followed up with occ health and they said it was no risk and I did not need any testing. I am very nervous / anxious and am having a hard time sleeping / relaxing, despite what occ health has said. I'm not sure if I should do a test anyways. I have no other risk factors then this exposure. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hi there, thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Helpline Forum

From what you have told me it seems like you are distressed about having acquired HIV during an unusual situation at work.

Contact with feces or urine from a HIV positive individual to *broken skin* is considered a negligible risk. A negligible risk meaning there is a potential for HIV transmission but there has never been a confirmed report. It is important to note that urine is a fluid that is excreted out of the body and HIV stays active within the body. That is why the HIV virus is more transmissible through fluids like blood, semen, rectal secretions and vaginal fluids.
Also, you said you had no major cuts, and HIV can only enter the bloodstream via severe cuts that would have needed special attention. The mouth, eyes, nose do not provide direct access to the direct bloodstream.
At AIDS Vancouver we recommend everyone to get tested for HIV who is sexually active. In BC, this can be done at most hospitals.

I hope we provided you with a bit more advice. And remember you can always visit the AIDS Vancouver website for more information on transmission and detection of HIV.

If you have any other questions or concerns free feel to give us a call or contact the helpline.
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Jasmine (Volunteer)
AIDS Vancouver
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