Anonymous
This morning, I had an appointment and afterwards I was given an order for bloodwork and a urine sample. When I was finished urinating, I washed my hands, but I had a large blue bandage wrapped around my hand, and it made me nervous, due to wet or dried bodily fluids being on the bathroom sink. I couldn't wash my hands as properly as I wanted, so as I left the office, I asked to use hand sanitizer. I took the bandage off as I was leaving the facility and washed my hands with the sanitizer, though I had some minor bleeding from the needle stick earlier. My larger questions are was I at risk of HIV transmission, since the sink had dried (or wet) bodily fluids on it as I was washing my hands? I should also note that I also had the bandage around my hand and knuckle area while washing, with minor bleeding at the needle stick area, since she withdrew blood from the knuckle. Furthermore, since I was using hand sanitizer on the hands---and my knuckle had minor bleeding from the aforementioned blood draw---would that place me at risk of HIV as well, since so many people use the hand sanitizer at the clinic? Okay, thanks for reading.
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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source for HIV/AIDS related information. I can sense that you are worried about your situation. Let me try to help you the best that I can.

To answer your questions simply, you are not at risk for HIV in either of the situations you described. HIV is a virus and viruses need a live host in order to survive. In the case of HIV, humans are the live host. When HIV exits the body through the blood or other body fluids, it is broken down and it is no longer transmissible. For this reason, if any of the body fluids present in the sink or sanitizer container contained HIV, the virus would have already been broken down and you are not at risk.

For HIV transmission to actually occur, you need to have 3 factors present. These factors are listed in the table below.

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION


BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection
As you can see, you do not have any of the factors listed above. The body fluids you may have been exposed to had already exited the body and therefore, broken down and unable to cause infection.
For more information on how you can actually get HIV, please see this [webpage](http://www.avert.org/hiv-transmission-prevention).

I hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions. You may also read the [AIDS Vancouver Risk Assessment Chart](http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart) for more information.

Best wishes,

Mary

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)

helpline@aidsvancouver.org

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