HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Risky or not?
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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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Risky or not?

Dr. EWH / HHH,

I went to an event where you'd have to get a stamp on the wrist to get in. Not everyone could get a stamp and I didn't but someone I know did. So to transfer one on my wrist he slowly exhaled onto his stamp to make it moist and then put his wrist onto mine, strongly pressing on it, hoping that the stamp will leave a mark on my wrist as well. He held it very strongly, pressing on it, for about 20-30 second. Later, I realized that earlier that evening I got a small nail scratch on that wrist. So I thought what if he had something on his hand or he was scratched as well? I saw him do the same thing to someone else right before me and that person didn't give me a good vibe. So I thought what if he or that other person had some little blood and what if it was left on his wrist as well, what if he was hiv positive etc. If those were the cases would that be a risk? From what I understand I think there is no risk at all but I'm worried about it so I just wanted to confirm with you.

The scratch was small and I don't think it was bleeding but nonetheless the skin had an abrasion.

Thank you very much.
300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to the Forum.  This was a no risk event. I say this for many reasons including that I suspect that your acquaintance does not have HIV but the most important reason I say this is because HIV is not transmitted by this sort of contact.  Your scratch does not represent a way for the virus to get into your body since these sorts of scratches are typically not deep enough to provide the sort of access that is needed to cause infection and secondly because wounds of this start to heal almost immediately, eliminating any possibility of infection passing through your skin to you.

I would not worry about this event at all. There is no reason for concern and to reason to test.  Take care. EWH
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for your answer, Dr. EWH! Have a great weekend!
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300980_tn?1194933000
Glad to help. EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
Dr. EWH, just a quick follow up that I just thought of... The fact that the little scratch on the skin is right above the vein still doesn't change anything? Veins on the bottom side of the wrist are so visible and the scratch is right above it. Still no risk and drop it?

Just wanted to confirm.

Thank you very much once again.
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300980_tn?1194933000
Correct, the location over a vein makes no difference- still no risk.  EWH
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