[Question #1477] Follow up from 1469 question about wrestling mat

45 months ago
I am sorry to ask this again, but I struggled to understand the response from the last doc. Maybe I wasn't clear: 

Bottom line, I officiate wrestling (high school). There were a lot of bleeders that night. The meet went late; we rushed to get home. I normally shower, but last night I didn't. I drove home (about an hour). When I got home my wife was frisky So I touched her, I touched myself, I get abrasions down there pretty easy and had one. Then I couldn't remember if I disinfected my hands. I don't believe I had any contact with blood, I believe we didn't miss any blood while cleaning mats if there was a bleeder. However now I am scared what if something was missed, and I had blood on my hands from the mat ( I never made contact with a bleeding wrestler so it would have to be from the ma, I also doubt a highschool wrestler would be HIV+t) 

So my question is could HIV or any bloodborne illness survive the roughly hour to hour and a half between leaving the meet and coming home, I also assume the steering wheel would have rubbed a lot of it off if there was any blood.  

Did I put myself or wife at risk 

I don't believe I had any blood contact put I am not 100% sure; my research tells me HIV cannot transmit from surface to person, and need a closed oxygen free environment to transfer.  Is this correct
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
I reviewed your previous two threads with Dr. Hook. I agree with his advice and I don't understand why you have "struggled" to understand it. As in many people with OCD, your mind has generated some "yes but" or "could I be the exception" sorts of questions.

There are theoretical risks of transmission of blood borne infections like HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C during athletic events that could involve blood exposure. However, it occurs extremely rarely. Even then, I believe the risk is limited to those with more direct contact than you would have:  if a wrestler had HIV, HBV, or HCV, and if that person's blood directly contaminated a fresh abrasion in the opponent, that might transmit the virus. But I am confident nobody else -- coaches, refs, etc are at risk from the sorts of exposure you describe. 

Could any of these viruses survived an hour of drying? Probably not, but I cannot say it is impossible. People speculate about how long these viruses may remain infectious as blood or other body fluids dry, with consensus that HIV probably doesn't remain infectious more than a few minutes. In other words, your "research" is correct to the best of my knowledge. But survival of the virus is not what's important. The important fact is that nobody in the world has ever been known to be infected in this manner, at least not with HIV. (We are not experts on blood borne transmission of the hepatitis viruses.)

You were not at risk and did not put your wife or anyone else at risk. My advice is a) to be immunized against hepatitis B, which is recommended for everyone anyway, then you can stop worrying about that one. Otherwise, just use common sense hygiene, i.e. wash with soap and water after wrestling events if you think you may have come into contact with blood. Finally, keep working with your therapist on your OCD. That's the health problem you have at the moment, not HIV or these other viruses.

Finally, please note the forum policy that prohibits repeated anxiety driven questions. Such questions have no value for other readers, one of our main goals; and ASHA does not want to keep accepting payment from compulsive searches for the same answers. Therefore, this will be your last thread on this topic. Any future ones will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. (And before you ask any follow-up question in this thread, please carefully re-read every word of this reply and of your other two threads. Anything else that comes to mind probably already has obvious answers.)

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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45 months ago
Thank you, I am sorry for my OCD. Your comments really help this is my last post and last question feel free to close it after this; I just felt like such a fool I forgot to sanitize my hands

SO I can move on Bottom line: no risk, no worries, no need to test
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Thanks for your understanding and for sure no need for apology. My comments about your OCD stemmed from compassion, not criticism.

Your bottom line is exactly right:  no risk, no worries, no need to test, and you can move on without giving these events another thought.

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45 months ago
Thank you again; I just want to clarify one point, when I said down there I meant; my wife touched my genitals, I touched hers as well as mine; I had an abrasions  and I am not sure I sanitized my hands; thank you again; I am sure this doesn't change your advice but I was worried I was being to puritanical in my speech and not clear; but I am sure you got the jist, thank you again 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
I understood entirely:  still no risk.

That completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so concludes this thread. Do your best to keep dealing with the OCD; use common sense hygiene then forget the infection risks from blood borne viruses.

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