Anonymous
Hello. So I was taking a tattoo needle off the machine and as I did the upper part of the needle, not the one in contact with the body of the client, made a small cut in my finger, which then proceeded to bleed a bit. My hands had some ink and vaseline residue from handling the tattoo machine so I am scared that the vaseline/ink might have been a carrier for HIV cells into my bloodstream? When tattooing intense coloring/shading can make the person bleed a bit, but I was just doing lines, where the amount of blood is much lower. The cut was superficial, but still bled (a few drops) before I cleaned it off with soap (not anti-bacterial) and water, and after a few minutes I cleaned it with alcohol. Just to be clear this happened after the client had left so I had no contact with him whatsoever. I'm just concerned for my well-being and wanted to know whether I should consider myself "at risk" of infection. Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for you HIV/AIDS related health information.

It sounds like you are concerned about your risk of HIV transmission when the upper part a tattooing needle made a small cut on your finger.

Superficial cuts are a Negligible Risk situation.

* HIV needs a human host to survive. Once HIV is outside of the body and exposed to oxygen it can no longer transmit. Any fluids containing HIV that you may have come into contact with were outside of the body, exposed to oxygen and therefore HIV could not transmit to you.

* HIV needs direct access to your bloodstream in order to transmit. There was no direct access to your bloodstream. Superficial cuts, such as the needle cut on your finger, simply do not provide the conditions necessary for transmission to occur. For superficial cuts to potential provide direct access to the bloodstream, they would have to be actively bleeding and in need of stitches or surgery to repair. From what I understand, this was not the case in your situation.


Here at AIDS Vancouver we encourage everyone to make HIV testing a part of their regular health care maintenance routine. The only way to know your status is to be tested.


I would encourage you to check out the following resources about HIV:

  • HIV Basics


  • Risk Assessment Chart


  • Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

    Hilary


    AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

    helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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