[Question #5297] hiv from scratching skin

24 months ago
hello. english is not my first language , so sorry for mistakes. 
i live in a country where hiv is not high prevalence ( czech republic) but my sister, a med student, scared me a couple of hours ago so i write to you for clarifications. 
here is the situation. 
I was walking outside and accidently scratched my arm on the neighbor's bell ( the little box on which the bell is located. On its edge). I did not see anyone walking in front of me, and the scratch was through the sleeve of my shirt. The scratch was/is red and raised but not bleed i think. As my sister was helping to put on a band-aid she said i can get hiv like that. is this true? Please let me know and please explain why yes or why no. Thank you!

24 months ago
ps. i just changed the band air. the scratch was bleeding unfortunately. Not sure if it is important in your assessment, so i thought i would mention it. thank you. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
24 months ago
Welcome back to the forum. Thank you for your confidence in our services. Your English seems fine to me.

This is your thrid question about obviously zero risk events in regard to HIV. (You always say you're asking for someone else -- maybe so, but usually such statements really are about oneself.) The main point of our previous replies, and again this time, is that HIV is never transmitted except by sex or by much more intimate blood contact than you have asked about. There has never been a reported case of HIV transmission by contact with someone's blood in the environment, or through nonsexual personal contact. (At least none I am aware of.) In theory, it seems such exposures could transmit the virus, but it just doesn't seem to happen. Not enough blood is transferred. As your sister will learn during her medical training, health professionals never catch HIV from this sort of thing:  the only way HIV has been transmitted to health workers is when they injured themsevles with sharp instruments with visible HIV infected blood.

Repeated questions on the same topic, especially about such low risk events, are discouraged. Let's make this your last question until such time as you actually have unprotected sex, needle sharing event, or other obvious high risk exposures. No other exposures of any kind will ever put you at risk for HIV.

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

HHH, MD
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