[Question #2149] football

47 months ago
while playing football i collided with another guy , we fell down .his nose was bleeding and i had actively bleeding wound in arm  .i am not sure whether his blood got into my wound or mucous membrane . is there any hiv risk?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
47 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

Contact with blood in contact sports like wrestling, football and rugby (and semi-contact sports, like basketball and soccer) is one of several potential risks for HIV that are always listed on websites and other educational materials about HIV/AIDS. This was a big deal in the news media back in the 1980s when Magic Johnson revealed his HIV infection and initially it wasn't clear whether he would continue playing. (He retired very soon.) However, in the real world such transmissions are very rare, if they occur at all. I am unaware of any reported cases, anywhere in the world, in which this was the apparent source of someone's HIV infection. If it happens, it is extremely rare.

In this particular case, I would point out two things. First, this undoubtedly isn't your only exposure to other persons' blood or body fluids while playing football. You can safely assume this occurs much more often than the occasional case when you know there was potential overt blood contact. (How would you ever know whether you were maybe exposed to blood from one of the several others who, along with you, were in a particular pile-up or scramble for a fumble?) Second, for there to be a risk in this situation, almost certainly HIV transmission would require exposure to a lot more blood than seems to be the case here. And third, of course the other guy would have to have HIV -- and the chance any particular football player has HIV probably is very low, as a guess well under one chance in many thousand.

So if I were in your situation (or more realistically, if my very excellent soccer playing grandson), I would not worry and would not recommend testing or any other action. But if you remain concerned after this advice, you could consider contacting the nose bleeder and encourage him to be tested for HIV -- or go together for testing. Or you could just be tested yourself in a few weeks. I believe that would be overkill, however.

I hopet his has helped. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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47 months ago
sir , your advice is wonderful. 
 1)In  wrestling people bleed to much . their mucous membrane or cuts can get exposed to large amount of blood yet hiv infection not known to happen like this , in spite of having large amount of blood. does it mean chances of getting hiv infection is less even there is large amount of blood?

2)when you say large amount of blood is requried for hiv infection , how much exact  you mean ?? 


3) your are right  that   while playing football i can exposed other body fluids which i may not notice ,  from your advice it seems there is no risk or rarely happens. during the game  obviously people  can injured because of push or pull from other people. if get exposed to large amount blood , several times or 2 times , obviously i am at risk . what is your opinion ??
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
47 months ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.

The chance of being infected probably rises with increasing amounts of blood exposure. The exact amounts are not known -- nobody has done such research, nor would it be possible. But if you don't see obvious visible blood, then you can assume the risk is extremely low. Therefore, I disagree with your closing statement "obviously I am at risk". As I said before, the chance another football player has HIV is undoubtedly very low, and to my knowledge there has never been a reported case of HIV being transmitted due to exposure to blood (or any other body fluid) during contact sports.

Therefore, my opinion and advice are the same as above:  Stop worrying about it. If you remain nervous, feel free to get tested from time to time, like maybe once a year. Avoid real HIV risks, i.e. have safe sex and don't share drug injection equipment with other persons.
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47 months ago
Sir , i want to conclude what you bave beem saying ,there is no known hiv cases from sports and amount of blood by which hiv infection is not known. Finally i want to ask just 2 more things. 

1) As said about wrestling or martial arts there are a lot visible blood and injuries .these people mucous membrane and cuts  can be exposed to blood  more frequently.are  these people  are more at risk of hiv infection??

2) i hope if someone is exposed to large amount of blood , you willrecommend hiv test??
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
47 months ago
You are re-asking the questions with different words. The answers have not changed.

1) The risk is exptremely low with all contact sports. There is no known difference between the risks associated with blood exposure from wrestling or martial arts comared with football or other sports. 

2) I would not recommend HIV testing on account of blood exposure in sports, unless you ask the bleeding person and s/he says s/he has HIV or is at through sexual activity or drug use.

That completes the two follow-ups included with each question and so ends this thread. Please note that repeated questions on the same topic are not permitted. Please do not ask another question about these same kinds of exposures. Thank you.

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