I have read on the forums that environmental transmission is not a risk but I'd like to be sure about this happening.
This morning I was picking at a sore that was inside my nose (my left nostril). I don't know what kind of sore it was. It looked almost like a whitehead but was sensitive like a coldsore (any idea what this sore was?. Anywho, as I was picking at it it broke and started to bleed a surprisingly large amount for the size of sore it was. My fear is that I somehow got infected hiv fluids into this sore and that perhaps this sore would be more susceptible to hiv infection than a regular cut. I did buy coffee from a starbucks thirty minutes before this happened. I looked at the clock so I know I picked my sore offat least thirty minutes after i bought coffee. My fear was that perhaps when the coffee barista gave me the coffee there was blood on the cup and that that blood got onto my hands which then go into my sore as I was picking at it. I didn't see any blood but I cant be sure there wasnt any. if i assume the worst and there was blood would it be a risk after 30 minutes? or anything like that?
Is this a risk for HIV or any blood borne illness?
The risk for catching blood-borne infections has nothing to do with a person's own bleeding. You have to be exposed to someone else's HIV infected blood or secretions. For this event to be a risk, you would have to somehow get large amounts of an infected person's blood or genital fluids into your nose at the same time as the bleeding; the scant amounts you could pick up from the environment are simply not sufficient to transmit HIV, hepatitis, etc. And the notion that somehow a barista's (or anyone else's) blood could have contaminated your coffee, even in small amounts, is really a stretch.
A lot of people tend to assume that it takes exposure "just one virus" for HIV, hepatitis, etc to be transmitted. In fact, lots of virus has to have access to susceptible cells. Not one person in the world has ever acquired HIV from the sort of events you describe; there simply is no risk here.
Having HSV-2 increases the risk of HIV from genital sexual exposures but otherwise has no effect.
I dont know why but even after i read your reply ive been worried about the possibility of getting some kind of contaminate fluids in my nose sore. I talked to a confidant of mine and she suggested i was feeling an anxiety attack. we talked more and i felt better but we concluded that for peace of mind i needed to clarify somethin with you:
my thoughts have been racing about moments when potential hiv fluids might have had access to my nose sore. i thought maybe as i shared a drink with my friend i might have touched my nose sore to the glass. i also rercently was smoking a pipe with my friends. we were passing the pipe around and each smoking from it. im worried because once i put the pipe to my mouth but missed my mouth and hit my nose sore with the end of the pipe, where people were smoking from so im worried what if someone had blood in their mouth or on their hands and that blood got onto the pipe end and then into my nose sore when i hit my nose with the pipe.
i guess what i am asking is if any of these concerns make any difference? how can i protect myself from HIV as i have this sore? is it enough to just not have unprotected sex?!?!?!
Your friend is right, in a general sense. This is an emotional/mental health problem, whether or not anxiety or something else.
Get this straight: Nobody ever gets HIV from the environment or from day to day contact with other people -- only by sex, needle sharing, etc. In the 25+ year history of the AIDS epidemic, no household members of HIV infected people ever caught the virus (if they weren't also sex or needle-sharing partners), despite years of sharing kitchens, eating utensils, bathrooms, etc. In other words, yes: avoiding HIV is just a matter of sexual and drug use safety, nothing more than that.
If you continue to obsess with fears of HIV or other serious infections from such exposures, I hope you'll consider professional counseling. It really isn't normal to be concerned in the way you are. I suggesst it out of compassion, not criticism.
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