HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
HIV Concern
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HIV Concern

Hello,
I work in law enforcement and the other day at the hospital two hiv patients had been in a fight and had blood on thier hands and faces.  When I entered the room I used my forearm to open the door, I'm not sure if any blood was on the door.  I spoke with the parties and left.  When I got home I noticed a cut on the same forearm, I had a long sleeve shirt on at the time.  Was I at risk, do I need testing.
Thanks.
300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll  be happy to comment.  This was a no risk event- HIV is not transmitted through the sort of contact that you describe.  Even if there was blood on the arm, transfer of infectious material containing HIV from a person to an inanimate object (the door) and then onto another person does not occur, both because the virus dies so quickly on exposure to the environment and because the process of the transfer works against the virus as well.  Further, the virus is not passed through clothing either so your shirt sleeve offers yet another barrier to infection.  There is no reason to worry and no reason to test related to this event.  The cut on your forearm does not change this.

I hope my comments are helpful.  Thank you for the service you provide to your community.  EWH
3 Comments
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Thanks for giving me peace of mind, have a great hoilday season.
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300980_tn?1194933000
My pleasure. Take care. EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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