Anonymous
I was in a doctor's office last time and she used the same thermometer she used on a previous patient on my ear to check my temperature. I was afraid after the incident. My questions are(1) Can someone contact hiv through this way? (11) What if the previous patient had a blood in the ear and the thermometer got stained with his blood, can I get hiv as the doctor inserted the thermometer direct to my ear (3) Does ear stand like an intact skin that does not allow blood direct to the bloodstream?
Please I am dying in worry here.
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you have some questions about HIV transmission from an ear thermometer at the doctors office. We're happy to answer your question for you.

This is no risk. No risk means HIV does not transmit this way. To understand why, check out our 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
You'll see that required for transfer are all of a fluid known to be involved in transfer, an activity known to be involved in transfer, and direct access to the bloodstream. It's highly likely that the thermometer the doctor used was sterilized between uses, or had some form of disposable protective cover that was removed prior to being used on you. Even if this were not the case, and even if there was somehow some blood from another patient on the thermometer, know that HIV is rendered intransmissible on exposure to air, and that fluid getting into the ear does not provide direct access to the bloodstream.

Thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope our answer eases your worries a bit.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION