Anonymous
Hi I'm a female and I went to the public bathroom at school today as I was washing my hand I felt something on the knob and it was like a dried of paper towel or something . I looked closer and it had blood or a red matter on it. I immediately washed my hands of course and checked for cuts. Unfortunately I had paper cuts on my hand. what is my risk. should I take PEP?Thank you
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Anonymous
Hi there,
Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for HIV/AIDS related information.

The simple answer to your question is no. There is no risk of HIV transmission from what you have described. Let me explain why.
HIV is a very weak virus and dies when it is exposed to the air, which is what happened in this case. In order for transmission occur, there needs to be direct contact between HIV positive body fluids (blood, semen, anal or vaginal fluid) and the bloodstream of an HIV negative person. This occurs mainly through unprotected sexual intercourse and sharing of needles. Since none of this happened in the activity you've described, you are at no risk, regardless of whether you had cuts on your hand, so PEP is not necessary in this case.

However, we do recommend that everyone be tested for all STIs including HIV on a regular basis, as part of your regular healthcare maintenance.

I trust I have addressed your concerns. However, if you still have any questions, feel free to contact us again, or visit the AIDS Vancouver website for more information.

Thank you,

Sandra, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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