See below. On Reeman response he said, "It also needs to have direct access into your bloodstream for transmission to occur"

Just a little confused, if their was fresh seconds old HIV blood on nail/screw, and it went into my foot causing me foot to bleed, isnt that direct access to my bloodstream?"

Or is the answer saying because hiv dies immediately once exposed to air, the HIV would be dead already even in a second or two and thus, thats why there was no direct access to my blood stream?

Please just last confusion.

Monday, September 15th
No Risk
No Risk
Hi see Q/A below. Not sure if I included enough information in my original question but just want to ensure it is still NO RISK.........So, my original question was can I get HIV if I stepped on a nail/screw a few seconds after someone with HIV did. I should have stated that the screw went into my foot and cut me. So, can you confirm, if I stepped on a nail/screw with fresh HIV blood only a few seconds old, and it went into my foot (again in just a few seconds), and made me bleed, is it still NO RISK simply because the HIV would be dead on air immediately? Please be definitive.

hi, I know you can get tetanus from stepping on a nail/screw can you get HIV if you stepped on a nail/screw if someone with HIV did the same seconds earlier and left their blood on it?

Is their any chance at all?


Thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver.

From the situation you have described, there is no risk for HIV transmission. HIV is a very weak virus that cannot survive without a live host and is broken down the moment it is exposed to air. With this said, there is no way for the virus to have gone from this persons blood, onto the nail and then go into your body.

Hello There,

Thank you for posting on the AIDS Vancouver Helpline Forum.

I can second the previous volunteer's response to your original question.

HIV dies upon exposure to air. It also needs to have direct access into your bloodstream for transmission to occur. HIV would not have been active for any transmission to occur in the situation you have described.

Hope this helps!

Please let us know if we can provide any more information. Or if you would like to call and speak to someone at the Helpline, you can do so anonymously and confidentially by calling 604-696-4666, Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm.

All the Best,

Hi there, and thanks for contacting us once again.

The explanation Reeman gave you was very accurate. However, I understand the question you are asking. The answer to your original question, "Can I get HIV if I stepped on a nail/screw if someone with HIV left their blood on it," is no. The reason is that the blood on the screw would have been exposed to air, and therefore would have died immediately. Even with direct access to the bloodstream, the same theory applies: You are not at risk because the blood was transferred to you through a screw that was exposed to air. Therefore, the HIV would have been broken down and would not be able to be transmitted.

HIV is widely considered a sexually transmitted infection, the reason being that in order for HIV to be transmitted, it requires a controlled environment that has no exposure to the air. An example of a controlled environment is anal or vaginal sex. Your exposure did not involve a controlled environment.

I trust I have addressed your concerns. However, should further information be required, please feel free to contact us again.

In good health,

Tiina, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer


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