[Question #2128] accidents

45 months ago
what is chances gettting hiv infection from traffic accidents??
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your succinct question. My reply is similar.

Exposure to blood while providing emergency care to a bleeding person could result in HIV, if the injured person is infected, and if substantial amounts of blood come into contact with eyes, mouth, etc. However, this is one of those theoretical risks that various websites and other sources mention as HIV risks, but which has rarely if ever occurred. I am unaware of any reported, proved cases of HIV being acquired in this way. Of course the risk varies with the amount and nature of the blood exposure, and the likelihood the injured person had HIV. If the accident victim were a black African in, say, Zimbabwe, the risk would be far higher than in the US, where on average fever than 1 in a thousand persons has HIV.

If you would like to say more about the specific circumstances, I might have additional advice. But from the information you have provided, I doubt there was significant risk or that you need HIV testing on account of it. But let me know if you would like to share more information.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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45 months ago
my friend had an accident .he and his friends  had injuries . there were a lot of blood . he was unconscious . he is not sure whether he was exposed to blood through eyes or cut. other things is that , i read some of your answered question , where you mentioned that people working in laboratory  got hiv through blood splashes in eyes . sir , you also said that  laboratory accidents had large amount blood.  In road accidents also there a lot blood but you saying its theoretic hiv   risk.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Most auto accident victims do not get exposed to other victims' blood, so I doubt your friend was at riswk. But if he believes that happened, and if he thinks his other friends who were injured might have HIV, he should speak with them about it and perhaps encourage them to be tested for HIV and other blood borne viruses, e.g. hepatitis B and C. In any case, I don't see how this concerns you, unless you have sex or share needles with your potentially exposed friend. If he has concerns, tell him he is welcome to post his own question about it.

In the 30+ year history of the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, maybe 2-3 people have been infected through laboratory accidents. Those probably did not involve exposure to blood, but more likely to laboratory solutions that contained the virus for diagnosis or research; and whether or not the exposure was to their eyes, I have no idea. I'm sure I never wrote anything about any known events of eye exposure to "a lot of blood" in a laboratory.


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45 months ago
thanks sir. you elaborated  much. i thought it was just pure blood( in laboratory)  . so basically you advice is that even if cuts or mucous membrane is exposed to large amount of blood  from accidents, chances of getting hiv infection mostly theoretic or very rarely . it chances from county to country .i had the doubt that why i asked you . since you are an expert i decided to ask you thank you so much for time god bless u.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Thanks for the thanks and for your appreciation of our services.

One minor correction:  If "large amounts" of HIV infected blood came into contact with eyes or mucous membranes, there might be significant risk of transmission. But the chance any particular accident victim has HIV is low, and few people are likely to have contact with "large amout" of their blood. As I said above, there are very few known cases in which anyone caught HIV from contact with an accident victim, perhaps no cases at all. So all things considered, the risk is near zero.

That completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so concludes this thread. I hope the discussion has been helpful and you will be able to stop worrying about this. If you only have safe sex and do not share needles with other persons, you will never catch HIV. Do not worry about any other kind of exposure.

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