Anonymous
On May 4, I was shopping in a grocery store and cut my hand with my keys. The wound was about 0.2 inches long and shallow. I did not realize I had cut my hand with my keys until I was checking out so I may have touched the groceries I bought with my small cut. I was also holding my baby so the grocery store clerk had to pack my groceries in my cart and car for me. Is it possible for me to get infected from the cart, grocery bottles or boxes or bags handled by the clerk if there was any blood on them. I am worried because I am breastfeeding my baby. I am planning to get tested on August 4 after 12 weeks. I got tested a week after the wound and it was negative.
Thanks
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions! We're happy to help.

I'm going to start off by saying that there is no risk of HIV transmission in this case, for a few reasons:

1) In order for a cut of wound to pose as a risk for HIV transmission, the cut needs to gushing blood and require immediate and professional medical attention. This is because the virus requires direct access to the bloodstream, but only a cut of this magnitude would provide said access. A cut like the one you have described does NOT provide direct access to the bloodstream and thus does not pose as a risk for HIV transmission.

2) Any body fluid present on the cart, groceries, or even the clerk's hands would pose no risk for HIV transmission. HIV is a very delicate virus, and cannot survive for long outside of the human body. Once any body fluid gets exposed to oxygen in the air, the virus becomes damaged and is no longer able to transmit. This means that any fluid present on the cart or otherwise would not pose as a risk for HIV, as it would have been already exposed to the air.

In your case, no HIV testing is required, as there was no risk of transmission.

I hope I was able to answer your question, and feel free to contact us with any further concerns.

Regards,

Sierra, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline

helpline.aidsvancouver.org

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