Anonymous
Hello,

So last week I broke a glass in my room by accident and I stepped on a small piece of it. Then this weekend I had two movers bring in a dresser on Saturday. On Monday morning I was walking in my room and I stepped on something small that pricked my foot and made me bleed very little; similar to the small piece of glass last week. I put neosporin and it stopped almost immediately. My concern is that it I could not find whatever it was that pricked me after. It was very small. I am worried that if somehow the piece that I stepped on was from a workers shoe or my own shoe and was brought in from outside. If this particle had been a tiny broken off piece from an old needle or some object that had been infected with aids and then I stepped on it would I be at risk?
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. I am happy to answer your question.

It sounds like you are concerned because you didn't know what the object was that contacted your foot. However, you may be happy to learn that this situation poses no risk for HIV transmission. This is because the HIV virus dies when it is exposed to air. For this reason, even if there was HIV positive blood on the object you stepped on, it would not pose a risk because it would have been in contact with air. Also, it seems like this situation is very hypothetical and has a lot of "what ifs," and although may be a cause for concern, truly poses no risk.

For future reference, the way HIV is transmitted is through the formula below. Please note that ALL 3 of the following factors must be present for HIV to be transmitted:

1) A specific bodily fluid from someone who is HIV positive (e.g. blood, semen, pre-cum, vaginal/anal secretions)
2) Must be involved in a high risk activity (unprotected sex, sharing needles)
3) So that the virus from the fluid may enter the receptive bloodstream (through the receiver's vagina, anus, urethra in penis, open cuts, or points of needle injection)

Since 0/3 of the above factors were present in your scenario, there is no risk.

I hope I have answered your question and eased your concerns. If you have any more questions, feel free to post on this forum again or visit our website http://www.aidsvancouver.org for reliable information.

Sincerely,

Caroline

Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline

604-253-0566 ext 299

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm

*Private and Confidential*
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