Anonymous
Hi I sent an e-mail earlier but still got no answer ! I hope you can answer my question now.I recently went to eat in a nearby food court and spend some good 30 minutes.When I went home, I noticed an estimated 2cm scratch in my left forearm.There were some dried blood on it with exposed flesh and it stung but its not actively bleeding.I could not remember how I got it but probably I hit my arm in the edge of the table.My concern is if this is a risk for HIV?The table where I seated has just been used by someone before I took it. Is HIV transmission possible this way if the edge of the table might have contained some infectious fluid that got transferred to me in the scratch wound.Help! Im worried because 6 days after the event I developed one day fever and some sore throat.Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hello, and thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver and I am happy to help answer your question.

We use the HIV Transmission Equation to explain in a simple way how HIV can be acquired.

1. BODILY FLUID (blood, semen, rectal secretions, pre-cum, vaginal fluids, breast milk)

+

2. ACTIVITY (unprotected anal or vaginal discourse, sharing needles, mother to child)

+

3. DIRECT ACCESS FOR THE VIRUS TO ENTER THE BLOODSTREAM (vagina, anus, urethra in the penis, open cuts and sores, points of needle injection)

= Risk of HIV transmission

All three of the above must be present for there to be a risk of acquiring HIV.

It is also important to note that for 1. BODILY FLUID, the HIV virus cannot survive outside the body as it dies once exposed to air. For 3. DIRECT ACCESS FOR THE VIRUS TO ENTER THE BLOODSTREAM, it mentions 'open cuts and sores' but it is usually injuries that require immediate hospital care that we are concerned about. We also do not look at symptoms as indicators of HIV as symptoms can be symptoms of other viral infections, such as the flu.

So, your experience is at no risk because none of the three are present. There is no need for you to worry about acquiring HIV. Please visit our website for more information at http://www.aidsvancouver.org

All the best,

Risa, Helpline Volunteer
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