Anxiety1
Hello. I have a very crazy question. First off, I’m a happily married man and do not sleep around on my wife or use drugs of any kind. I work outside for both of my jobs. My hands crack and bleed a lot. One day about 3 weeks ago I finished work for the day and stopped at the convenient store to get a beer. I had a fresh crack on my thumb. I reached in the open beer cooler with ice in it to grab a beer and my thumb that had a crack on it hit the ice that was on top of the beer. It hurt and I immediately had an anxiety attack. What if someone before reached in the same place and had a bleeding cut or crack and left blood on the ice that hit my thumb? My thumb wasn’t bleeding at the time. I know it’s a bizarre question, but could I be at risk for hiv from this incident? My logical mind says no, but my anxiety driven mind wonders. Thank you in advance for your time. 
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helpline-volunteer

Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of HIV transmission through your thumb with a crack on it coming into contact with ice that could potentially have another individual's bodily fluid on it. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the HIV Transmission Equation (see down below).

Even if there had been fluid containing HIV positive particles on the ice, the HIV particles would be inactivated as exposure of the virus to oxygen quickly deactivates it. The CDC has shown that "HIV does not survive long outside the body (such on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside of the human host" (1). When HIV is exposed to oxygen, it undergoes a rapid decrease in concentration (90-99% within a couple of hours), so the risk of environmental transmission of HIV is essentially zero (1). 

Therefore, in the event that the ice did come in contact with bodily fluid, the exposure to oxygen, coupled with the fact that there was no direct access to the bloodstream, means there is No Risk of transmission from this activity. Therefore, this scenario does not meet the three components of the HIV Transmission Equation (see down below).

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

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Sonali 

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1. HIV in the environment  

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