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HIv question concerning Open wound fresh cut abrasion
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HIv question concerning Open wound fresh cut abrasion

I have read on many sites that one can be infected with hiv if soemones blood comes into contact with another person's open wound. Now I am curious, as to what constitutes an open wound? I'm also worried because I had a slight cut on my hand and came into contact with a workers blood when I shook his hand. (it was on accident.)
Two days ago I slightly cut my hand on an appliance at work. The cut occured on my pointer finger. It was more like an abrasion. My cut NEVER CAUSED ME TO BLEED, but it did however peel away some of my skin. I was left with a redish abrasion, but no scab or bleeding. Today, i shook hands with another worker who had blood on his hand. I have read that a person must have a FRESH NEW cut to be infected. If his blood came into contact with my abrasion, does that put me at any risk?
I have read that  As a general rule, if blood isn't coming out of a "fresh" cut, then HIV or other blood-borne pathogens shouldn't be able to get in. However, I'm not really sure. i know that I probably came into cantact with the gentlmans blood, but since I wasn't bleeding and it was an old wound, am I safe from HIV? As I stated I had a redish type burn, but no bleeing of any type.
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There are no data to accurately answer your question--i.e., nobody can say what the specific odds of infection are from the exposure you describe, except that they are lower than the chance of your winning the next lottery.  If that sort of exposure could spread HIV, we all would have been infected by now.  Don't worry about it.

Good luck--- HHH, MD
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I am certain you could not have contracted HIV from the exposure you describe.  HIV is not an easy virus to transmit.  If HIV was transmitted that easily, half the population would probably have it by now.  I highly doubt the person you shook hands with even has HIV to begin with.  Im sure the doctor will tell you that you have nothing to worry about.  Dont worry about it, there is no reason to.
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University of Washington
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