[Question #6339] Dog scratch

17 months ago
Good morning,

I have an additional question regarding my HIV positive coworker. He does have a pet, a very friendly dog, so every time I visit him the dog jumps on him for attention and on me and sometimes scratches us both. Any risk of transmission if the dog scratches him first and me after? Even if the scratches are red or bleed a bit(for both him and me)? Should I be cautious?

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
Welcome back to the Forum.  I'm sorry you continue to worry about casual contact with your friend (and his pet).   The sorts of dog scratches (or licks, one other contact) in no way put you at risk for acquisition of HIV.  Once again, HIV is ONLY transmitted through DIRECT sexual contact  or injection of infected material deep into tissue.  It is not transmitted through indirect contact of any sort.   Please don't worry.  EWH---
17 months ago
Thank you Dr. So even if he gets scratched and there is small quantities of blood visible, if I get scratched right after, no risk? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
Sigh.  Even if he is scratched and you are immediately scratched by the same paw.  No risk means no risk.  EWH---
17 months ago
Thanks Dr, very helpful. From what I understand, all these myths around transmission are not true and the only real risks are sex and sharing injection equipment. All other scenarios I can think of, are not risky. Except for cases like car accidents and having lots of blood on any open deep wounds I would have. Fair assessment?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
Correct.  Please don't worry.  You concerns are understandable but  unwarranted.  Please do not let them ( or Internet-based statements) interfere with your support for your friend.

As per Forum guidelines, this thread will now be closed.  Take care. EWH
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