[Question #7832] Blood contact

 
17 days ago
Dear experts,

Let me ask you a pair of questions:

1. I was playing a doubles tennis match with some people I do not know before. In one moment, one of the opponents stop the match as he had some covered injury in his left hand (the one he used to pick up the balls) and started to notably bleed. He went to clean it to the locker room and came back with a new band-aid in the hand and several well visible blood stains in his shirt.

In that moment I put myself an Sport glove in the hand I was using to pick up the balls but I am  concerned about the possibility of contact with his blood throught the balls or with some drops that could spilled in the floor. Could also some bloody particle go into my eyes when serving with the balls?

2. I had some people working in my garden and while making repairments one of them made himself and scrath with some stones and wires and bleed a bit. He washed it in a bucket with water. This  was two days ago. Is it safe to throw the water and clean the bucket as I have it in the same situation as he left it? Any risk with some blood traces that he could left in the garden? I had to do some other repairments and I am a bit concerned about the possibility of  scratching  myself as I am not sure where exactly he made his wound.

Thank you very much
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
17 days ago
Welcome back, but I am afraid we are in the same situation as for your two previous threads, in which both Dr. Hook and I agreed with your self diagnosis -- that is, your OCD leads you to be abnormally fearful of contact with blood as a risk for HIV; and that we are not in a position to help with that psychological issue; all we can do is confirm what you arelady know about the facts of blood exposure and HIV risk. Quoting from my replies to your last question about 3 months ago:

So from an HIV factual perspective, I'll confirm what you already understand, at an intellectual if not gut/emotional level:  HIV is not transmitted by contact with the virus or potentially infected blood or other body fluids in the environment. Unless and until you have sex with an infected person, or share injection equipment or otherwise your bloodstream is exposed directly, you'll never catch HIV.

For the two instances described, you say nothing to suggest you believe the bleeding persons you describe have HIV or at high risk for it. But even if they have HIV, you describe events that have no chance of infecting you. Even if somehow undetected blood was on the tennis ball and a smalll particle contacted your eye, this would not be enough exposure to result in infection. And contact with a small amount of blood in a bucket of water is risk free. However, if you remain nervous about it, and inview of your inherent fears, you can always wear vinyl or latex gloves (or common kitchen gloves).

Intellectually you know you were not at risk. I hope being reminded of that fact has been helfpul.

HHH, MD
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15 days ago
Thank you for your answer Dr.
Kind regards
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
14 days ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.---