[Question #1341] HIV Risk

47 months ago
Hi drs.
A few hours ago, i was in an elevator while a group of family comes in. The family's kid was touching the open button on the elevator and i helped pressed the button (our hands didn't touch). Later about 10-20 seconds after that , The family and I exited the elevator. I touched the open button to allow them to pass through, and i might touch the area where the finger of the child was. My question is, if the child had a cut and bled on the button, was i at risk for HIV? I didn't check the button , but i did see my thumb and there was no cut or nicks although i did rub my index finger and thumb together. Both of the fingers skin seem intact and there was no visible cut on it. Am i at risk for HIV? I
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I'll try to help.  The events you describe did not put you at risk for HIV or other blood borne infections.  I say this with COMPLETE confidence for a number of reasons.

1.  First and most importantly, HIV is not transmitted from person to person either through direct, non-sexual touching either directly or indirectly.  There has NEVER been a case of HIV proven to have been transmitted by touching a contaminated elevator button, toilet seat, or other inanimate object.  Not ever.  You will not be the first.
2.  Even touching infected blood typically does not lead to infection.
3.   It is unlikely that the child you were with had HIV.  Pediatric HIV is rare and infected children are typically on treatment and therefore not highly infectious.

I hope this comment is helpful.  You are not at risk for HIV from the "exposture" you describe.  You do not need testing related to this event.  EWH
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47 months ago
I see, so i am not sure that i got blood in my thumb in the first place (or in any other finger). Even if i did, my intact skin without wounds or cuts will protect me right doc? So it doesn't matter the length of time a possible HIV-infected liquid has been on a eleveator button or toilet seat or any surface, it would be non-infectious immidiately? Can you list the ways HIV iis transmitted and where it is not just for my future reference ? Thanks doc
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago
Still no risk if you got blood on your thumb.

I reviewed your earlier interaction with Dr. Handsfield.  After doing so, it is my impression that you are far more worried about HIV than you need to be or is appropriate.  HIV is just not transmitted by casual contact or activities of daily living.  HIV is transmitted only through unprotected, penetrative sexual contact or INJECTION of infected material deep into tissue.   Even then infection is transmitted less and often far less than 1% of the time.   Please try to relax.  If you cannot, I urge you to discuss your inappropriate fears with a trained counselor who can help you address them.  EWH
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47 months ago
I understand doctor, for my last questions :
1. You stated that there is no documented case , when you say its not documented, is it possible that it has happened yet we don't hear about it because of various reasons? Or? 
2. If i drink from a glass, and there happens to be blood on the rim of the glass, would i be at risk ? I did that a few minutes ago in a restaurant and i didn't check.
3. Can I get HIV from touching a gym equipment , there happens to be some dried liquid that i happen to scratch on the screen on my gym equipment , or from shaking someones hand (i didn't see if he had a cut)
4. I know this might not be STD related, but here in My country it is hard to find a psychiatrist or mental health services outside The capital. I want to seek help , what would you say if you are in my position doc? Hypochondria? OCD?

You and Dr.Handsfield are doing a great service to many doc, i know you probably heard this a lot, but I really feel that way. Thanks again
47 months ago
Also , i know this is totally bonkers, but i just had a bad nosebleed. Could i self infect myself with HIV ? I got some blood on my palms and all and some might got ingested 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago

No.  Your anxiety is out of control. Get a grip on yourself and please cease these illogical questions.

Response to this thread which will now be closed.  I note that Dr. Handsfield has previously told you that illogical, anxiety-driven questions will be deleted without comment.  I want to reinforce this statement.  EWH


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