Anonymous
sorry to post this twice but i was washing my hands in the sink at college. after i was done, i realized their was blood in the sink. (some idiot decided to blow his nose in the sink beforehand)

(the blood was located parallel to the spout in the front.

I don't think i touched the blood but the water might have splashed onto my hands which has small open cuts (some of them bleeding) (i have a TERRIBLE habit of biting my cuticles)

Should I get PEP?

thx
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for your inquiry.

We gather that you would like to know if you were at risk of acquiring HIV when you washed your hands in a public sink which contained traces of an unknown person's blood, and whether PEP is indicated for this incident.

This situation presents No Risk for HIV transmission, meaning that HIV transmission is not possible.

In order for HIV transmission to occur, all three of the following conditions must be met:

1. There must be HIV present in a bodily fluid. (1) From the details you provided, although it is a possibility, there is no reason to assume that the blood in the sink came from a person with HIV.

2. The bodily fluid containing HIV must have direct access to the bloodstream. (1) The possibility of water containing blood splashing onto your cuticles would not be considered direct access to your bloodstream.

3. Transmission occurs through a risky activity in which the first two conditions are met. (1) Sharing hypodermic needles or having unprotected sex are examples of activities which potentially involve direct access to the bloodstream.

PEP is reserved for situations which carry a significant risk of HIV transmission. Based on guidelines here in British Columbia, PEP is only indicated when the source person is either known to be HIV positive, or is known to be at a high risk for HIV infection. (2) It is not indicated for situations where the source is unknown. For example, PEP is not recommended for needle sticks from an abandoned needle. (2)

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions.

Regards,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer, Dyson




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