[Question #3934] HIV transfer question

34 months ago
This is on the tail end of some of my other hpv questions, but certainly appropriate question I might think. I was recently working with a patient, performing a dermatome exam of the upper extremity using a metal pinwheel device and I pricked myself (rather mildly i might add) after testing the patient. There was no puncture of my skin (side of finger) and of course the patient had no punctures (no blood observed). There is no reason to believe he has HIV and has been married for 40 years as I asked him straight up. Just playing it safe here by asking, but no chance of any blood borne pathogens with HIV in particular, but also Herpes Simplex, other STI's or anything that could be transferred? 
How easy it is for HIV to be transferred with nonsexual encounters, my understanding is very limited, but for medical professionals they did talk about accidental needles or sharps. I don't work with needles..and the pinwheel is about as sharp as it gets. I want to make sure I'm taking the appropriate precautions. 
Other STI's like chlamydia/gonorrhea and others are not blood borne, so couldn't occur like that right? Can Herpes transfer through blood or only sexual contact with lesioned area?  Thanks so much!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
34 months ago
Since there was no break in your skin, you were at no risk of HIV or any other blood borne infection from this event. Also you are correct that gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HSV are not blood borne. There was no risk of any STD from this event, and almost certainly for no other infections.

HHH, MD
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34 months ago
Yeah, there was nothing visible. The tips of the pinwheel, as i'm sure you're aware, are very small and sharp and are made to create pain without puncturing the skin. Along with the skin on the hands being pretty tough, especially along the outside of the finger. I was concerned there might be a tiny prick, but I don't think so because it would have to be microscopic as I looked at it with a magnifier and still nothing. That being said, a break in the skin would have to be visible and overt?  If this were to happen again...
34 months ago
And in dealing with a scenario like this, would visible blood need to be present?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
34 months ago
Yes, a break would have to be obvious and bleeding, with contact with an infected person's blood.---
34 months ago
The infected persons blood would also have to be visible and obvious as well? For instance, you would have to be able to see it on the tips of the pinwheel for it to be transferred, correct? And thank you, that rounds out my questions. I appreciate your time and answers. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
34 months ago
Correct, no risk if no obvious, visible blood.

Let's make this your last question about obviously zero risk events, OK? To be blunt, I disagree with your opening statement that this is an "appropriate question I might think." Next time, please think it through again!
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