Anonymous
Hello. One of the duties of my job is to process haz/mat. The other day I was processing paper towels and Sanitize wipes that had been used to clean up blood drops. These items were placed in a plastic bag until I was to process them. They had been in the bag for at least 12 days. There was also a utility blade in one of the bags that had cut an employee 12 days ago. As I was placing the bag in a biohazard bucket the blade that cut the employee cut my right index finger. It was a mild cut, small but did bleed. I cleaned it and put a bandade in it. I spoke to the employee and asked him his personal history and he advised me he was safe. I do not know who the other blood belonged to, it was found in a dumpster. After 12 days The paper towels in the bag were still wet because I used Windex to spray the blood before I wiped it up with a paper towel. The sanitize wipes were also still wet. all were kept in a closed plastic bag. All of the blood cleaned were small, nose bleed type drops. a small amount. There was no visible blood on the blade either.
Am I at any risk of HIV?
thanks, robert
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Anonymous
Hi there,

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

The short answer to your question is that no, you are not at risk of HIV from this. I'll explain why. HIV is a weak virus that is no longer transmissible once it leaves the body and exposed to open air. This is why it needs person to person transmission, such as through unprotected sexual intercourse or sharing needles for drug injection. It can not be transmitted through objects, such as paper towels, blades, or surfaces that have come into contact with bodily fluids and then come into contact with you.

I hope I have addressed your concerns, and feel free to contact us again if you have further questions, or visit our website at http://www.aidsvancouver.org

Thanks,

Sandra

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online Volunteer

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm PST

1-844-INFO-HIV (toll free Canada and USA)

Email/forum: http://www.helpline.aidsvancouver.org

Private and confidential
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