Hello. I asked a question below and somewhat confused. It's says no risk under my subject heading yet in the answer it says unlikely yet maybe get also says I was hypothetical

So late me state facts:

1. I was pricked by staple and a small dot of blood occurred from the hole it made

So my question was if the person handed me a booklet and cut themself on the same staple that seconds later pricked me and caused a dot of blood in my finger am I at ANY risk

And if not like the answer said below why would I need to get tested???

Original Q&A below

Hi there

I was at my sons university seminar where volunteers were passing booklets to attendees

When I received mine I accidentally pricked my finger on the staple on booklet. My concern is what if seconds before me, the person handing out the booklet did the same and his blood went on to staple then into my finger within a couple of seconds? Any risk here? Why or why not?

Thank you

Hello and thank you for using AIDS Vancouver as your source for HIV/AIDS related information.

I would just like to note that answering questions based on theoretical situations is very difficult as there is a lot of information that is unknown.

In order for HIV transmission to occur,V is a very fragile virus meaning that in a very short exposure to air (within seconds) the virus is destroyed and therefore unable to transmit to another person. In order for HIV transmission to occur through a wound on a person the wound must be deep, open, and actively bleeding. In your case it does not sound like your wound had these characteristics. As mentioned previously, []( As you don't mention that there was visible blood, and even if there was small trace amounts of blood present, it is likely that within the time frame from a potential HIV positive person pricking themselves with the same staple to you pricking yourself the virus would be destroyed. Based on what you have described it is very unlikely that you are at risk of HIV transmission; the best way to know your status however, is to be tested. If you have further concerns you should reach out to your health care professional.

Thank you for contacting for contacting AIDS Vancouver Helpline. I will try and answer your question as best I can.

First off HIV can only be transmitted by human to human contact. As the previous helpline volunteer stated: body fluids with high levels of HIV such as blood, semen/pre-cum, and anal/vaginal fluids must have direct access to your blood stream. Since none of these activities were happening you have no risk. HIV is also destroyed very quickly when exposed to air.

There is no risk to exposure to HIV through the staple since it was exposed to the air, and since there was no human to human contact. It also sounds like the blood on the staple was from yourself and not from the other person. So you don't need to worry about exposure to HIV. If you want to check AIDS Vancouver's website at it may help gain insight into how HIV is transmitted. There is also no need for you to get testing because there is no risk.

I hope I was able to answer your question. You can also contact us (604)-893-2201.

Best Wishes,


Vancouver AIDS Helpline Volunteer


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