[Question #4802] Non sexual massage risk

28 months ago
Dear Doctors 
Thank you for your help .
I live in an area in Mumbai where there are plenty of mosquito's specially in the winter season .
A combination of mosquito bites as well as dry skin leads to a lot of itching and scratching specially on my legs and hands.the scratching does lead to cuts with tiny drops  blood occasionally..
Yesterday I went for a foot and back  massage and the maasuse was massaging these areas..
I just want to know if this is something to worry about as he might have had cuts on his hand in case he hiv
What I have understood that you require plenty amount of blood in order to transfer HIV from one person to another ..
Is this a completely no risk situation ..

Please advise 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
28 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  Your question is similar to many of the questions we get on this Forum.  I will provide a direct answer below but I would also suggest that you look at some of the other similar questions that can be found on our site.  One of our goals is for clients to be able to learn from the advice we have given to others.

For contact with blood to result in HIV infection, fresh, infected blood must be delivered below the surface of the skin where it has access to the blood stream - and even then the risk is low. For example, when a needle contaminated with blood from an untreated person with HIV punctures the skin, on average, infection occurs in less than 1% of the time.  Infection is even rarer with casual surface contamination of the sort that you describe.  In the case you describe you do not know that the masseuse had HIV and even if he did, and he had cuts or scrapes on his hand, there is no appreciable risk for HIV infection,.  This is the case even though you may have your own cuts, scrapes or bites as well- still no risk.    I would not worry about this event and see no reason related to it for testing.  

I hope this information and assurance is helpful.  Please don't worry.  EWH