Anonymous
Hi. I'm wondering what it means when you say blood from an HIV+ person has to come in contact DIRECTLY with a wound of a person who does not have HIV. Does this mean that the HIV+ person must bleed directly into the wound of another person? Please explain to me a situation where this could occur. Because I am confused as to what is direct contact. Could it also be if a cut of a person comes into direct contact with infected blood found on a door? Isn't that also direct contact with blood? In my case I had a shaving cut on my finger which bled slightly, I didn't think much of it and continued with my day. Obviously my cut wasn't too deep and blood was not gushing out, it was a freckle sized cut to be exact. But after 4-5 hours I went to the mall and touched a lot of doors. Now I'm worried if whether the doors might have had any blood on them which came in contact with my cut - the cut had not fully become a scab, so would this classify as a fresh cut? I'm so worried please help me. I'm a virgin I haven't had sex or injected drugs but this situation is giving me anxiety. So please clarify an instance where HIV can pass from a wound, and whether or not my small cut exposed to doors is a cause for concern. (I didn't see any visible blood on the doors, I'm guessing I would have noticed if there was indeed fresh dripping blood on a glass door) but I guess I just need some advice and clarification from you. Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thank you for contacting our Helpline for HIV/AIDS related information.

I understand that you're feeling a lot of anxiety about whether a cut you had could have transmitted HIV.

I can assure you that from what you described, you are at NO RISK of HIV transmission. HIV cannot be transmitted once it is exposed to the air, so it cannot be transmitted from bodily fluids or blood on doors or surfaces, even if these come in contact with a wound. Additionally, a small wound like the one you described is superficial and does not provide direct access to the bloodstream.

The following transmission equation shows you all that needs to happen for transmission to occur:
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
In terms of the hypothetical situations mentioned about the types of wounds that would allow direct access to the bloodstream, these "what-if" scenarios are not common and hard to address directly. Most types of wounds are superficial and do not provide direct access to the bloodstream. If wounds are deep and actively bleeding, this may be cause for concern, but again, it is hard to answer this directly because it is a hypothetical situation. In general, HIV is transmitted through high risk activities (unprotected intercourse and needle sharing) and not by rare situations such as wounds and cuts.


I hope I have addressed your concerns. Feel free to contact us again by email, or through our online forum or our phone line, if you have further questions.
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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION