Anonymous
to tell the truth, i used to have obsession about hiv but this is long gone. i have a child and perfect life in monogamy. but today, my anxiety was suddenly back so hard, i nearly got crazy. only from time to time this happens, and usually i can cope with it with some rational arguments. but today i need support from someone else, so thank you in advance for help. today we were in shop - me and my son - the shop assistant handed us new shoes, all receipts and credit card, and then i noticed it. huge, at least 1 cm in diameter large semihealed scabs on one hand, near her thumb - on that part of hand which touches things when you touch something. it was quite large, surely bigger, then burn from cigarette. one scub had very freshly looking very red colour (blood on surface I think?) i cant say if it was or was not bleeding, but it looked fresh, not like old scub, which is rather brownish... and of course, as my anxiety came back I started to think about caposi sarcoma (i have seen in some stupid film) as a proof that the assistant is hiv+. (i dont even know if that things on skin caused by this illness can be open and bleeding or are only brown bumps, but it looked a bit similar and all these perceptions just came together in my mind with only one terrifying conclusion... there were many situations we came in contact when handing the things and touching the terminal and credit card, and my son keeps touching his nose, mouth, eyes and he did touch the terminal and it was soo quick i just hadnt chance to look carefully were is and is not blood and what he and I touch. I am soooo afraid this could be a way - and maybe this is why my anxiety is back - because in this situation not i am in danger, but also he is and i have some sort of guilt feeling... please is there any tiny possibility i should be afraid of getting it? thank you very much in advance. i am very sorry, for bothering you, sometimes I am not able to help myself without some "external" advice. i hope it will take a long time between this and my future post (hope none will come...)
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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline

We encourage you to post as many times as you have questions. We are here to help so do not hold back.

It seems you are concerned about contracting HIV from casual contact. We will provide you with some information.

HIV is not transmitted by casual contact. This includes handling items touched by a person you suspect they may have HIV or even those you know have HIV. This is because when HIV has been exposed to air it does not transmit. For the virus to be transmitted it needs direct access into your blood stream and all the conditions shown in the transmission equation below have to be present.

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
Casual contact as experienced by people in their daily life does not expose them to HIV infection. In the activity that you described there is no risk. You can get additional information from [catie website](http://img.thebody.com/images/infographics/HowCanIPreventHIVTransmission.pdf) and the posts on the AIDS Vancouver helpline as we update these everyday.

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.


Lawrence

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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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION