Anonymous
Hi, I'm a medical student. Yesterday, I had HIV rapid test lesson in laboratory. One of my friends were doing the test with HIV+ blood serum. The other students were watching the procedure (so we didn't use the glove). I am afraid that IF one of my friends spilled a droplet of the serum from the pipette on the table. And then, my naked finger or hands unconciously touched the wet or dried serum (in spilled location) and unconciously a put my contaminated finger in my mouth which had tiny mouth sore at the maxillary frenulum. Can i get infected because of that? I am really worried (paranoid)
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Anonymous
Hi there! Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your HIV related concerns. We are Happy to help!

I understand you're concerned about how HIV transmission would work in this situation, let me clear that up for you as best I can!

The situation that you're describing here poses No Risk. For a couple of different reasons.

First, HIV, to be acquired, must have direct access to the blood stream. This means that a cut would be required that is large enough to require medical attention (such as stitches). This means that the sore in your mouth would not be sufficient. Additionally, saliva has an enzyme in it that helps to break down HIV and other pathogens, therefore providing protection as well.

Second, once the HIV virus is exposed to air, it can no longer be passed on. So if the serum or blood was on the table, then it is exposed to air immediately, and regardless of if its wet or dry, cannot pass on HIV.

I am attaching here an HIV Transmission equation which makes it really easy to see exactly what components are necessary for HIV transmission to even be POSSIBLE:

HIV 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
Hopefully this was able to help you!

Sincerely,
Christina

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION