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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Jan 30, 2005

Dr., I am wondering if I should be concerned with the following risk of transmission. I have a friend who has Hepatitis(not sure which one). One particular time we were hanging out, I had a very bad episode of my leg itching that day. So I was constantly scratching a spot on the leg. I'm not sure if it opened a wound or not, but it could have very well done so. During the process, she reached down and touched the area of where I was scratching(not sure if she touched any skin breaks). Also, she had a nagging cough around that time that was producing bits of blood at least earlier in that week. She was still coughing a little that day. So my question is, if somehow earlier she had gotten her blood on her hands (the cough, fiddling with her piercings, etc), could it have transmitted to a skin break from the itching. Thus, could I have been exposed? I know this may be irrational, but this is the first time I have been directly exposed to someone who had a blood transmitted disease like that. So I guess I am thinking the worse. I apologize if this seems very paranoid. Thanks!

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would describe the risk with the event you describe as basically zero. Please be reassured.

Dr. McGovern

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