[Question #5185] Bandaid, fresh cut

24 months ago
Dear Experts,

I was recently on a climbing tour and I fell and got a fresh cut on some rocks. I was bleeding on my finger and our tour guide (a recovered methampetamines addict of many years ago) applied a bandaid to my finger. His hands were pretty roughed up but I didn’t specifically see any large amount of fresh blood - but we all had scuffed up hands from climbing.

Given that, is it possible to get HIV from an event where a scuffed up hand possible higher risk individual touched a bandage with some broken up hands immediately before application on my fresh wound?

Thank you!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
24 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

There is no risk at all for any STD, HIV, or other blood borne infection. This situation is essentially the same as for HIV infected health care workers. No patient ever has been infected with HIV, and rarely in the modern era with hepatitis B or other blood borne infections, by health care providers in the process of giving care -- with the single exception of an HIV infected dentist who apparently intentionally infected his patients by injecting them with his own blood (20+ years ago, never legallly proved but highly probable). Health care providers are not required to be tested for HIV or to inform their patients if infected, and such persons regularly do surgery or other invasive procedures. Second, I would add there is no particular reason to assume your guide has HIV simply because he formerly used methamphetamine. But even if he did, there was no risk to you.

So please do not worry. There is no need for testing for HIV or any other infection on account of this event.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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24 months ago
Damn, what an f’d up thing for that dentist to do.

Thanks Dr. Handsfield! You set my mind at ease. 

The only thing I was worried about was that his hands were freshly roughed up from climbing too, but if your saying this this isn’t a thing, then that’s awesome.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
24 months ago
You're right about the dentist. (It's easy to find news stories about it. Just google something like "dentist transmits HIV".) And I already took your guide's "roughed up hands" into account. No risk.---