Hi, I have a question. On January 18th I was in my phlebotomy program we were doing dermal punctures, as I went to the bathroom my classmate prepared his supplies. When I got back I was a little nervous so my hands were cold.. Therefore I bled a lot. He grabbed the gauze to stop the bleeding and he put the band aid etc. for some reason. Since I do have OCD I thought he used an old gauze. The one I used on him. So I automatically assumed hiv or hep c. So for many many months I worried and had every symptom of course because I am a hypochondriac. I received many tests! First one, 1 week after. Second one, 6 weeks after. Third one, 8 weeks after. And officially last one, 12 weeks. Which I was told 3 months would be the most accurate. I was told by many many doctors that it would've been impossible to catch it, one because I wasn't sure. Two, I didn't see blood. Three, the blood would've been dried since I did his 30 minutes prior to mine. And fourth, I toook many tests to prove it. Point being, today I had unprotected sex... And yes I will check again. But my main concern is, did I transfer hiv to him?? Or do I not have it?? Should I have got tested at 6 months. Or was there no risk to begin with? Please help me

Thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver for HIV/AIDS related information.

First of all, let me confirm that your doctors were correct in saying that there is no risk of you transmitting HIV through the gauze activity you have described. This is because HIV is a very weak virus and dies on exposure to air; even if there had been blood on the gauze, it would have been exposed to air, so you would be at no risk.
Even though this was a no risk activity, to answer your questions about the tests, I can tell you that the test at 12 week is conclusive. It is also likely that the earlier tests at 6 weeks and 8 weeks were accurate, because some types of HIV tests are considered conclusive at 6 weeks by many HIV specialists. There is no reason to be tested for 6 months for this specific exposure activity involving the gauze.
To address your question about the unprotected sex, no, you did not transfer the virus to your partner, because based on what I've outlined above, you never transmitted HIV in the first place.

However, unprotected sex is a high risk activity for HIV transmission, so we encourage you to get tested 12 weeks after this exposure. You may even wish to be tested at 6 weeks, which will give you a very good indicator of your status.

In regards to your concerns about Hepatitis C, we specialize in HIV/AIDS rather than Hep C, but I can tell you that a test for Hep C is conclusive at 10 weeks, so if you also took Hepatitis C tests at the same time as your HIV tests then the one at 12 weeks would be accurate.

I trust I have addressed your concerns. Feel free to contact us again if you have any more questions.


Sandra, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer



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