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A question to Barbara from Minia
Apr 13, 2006

Dear Doctor Barbara,

I had a very strange situation. I was coming back from a party, paid for the car-park and received some coins from the machine.

Then I drove home (some 20 minutes) took out the coins from my wallet and I saw that one of the coins had a red spot (in a shape of a line).

I was afraid that it could have been someones dried blood and I was trying to scrape it off with my nail but it did not want to come off (however some of it could have gotten under my nail).

Given the worst scenario (30 minutes before someones hiv/hcv positive blood found itself on the coin, and later it got under my nail) is it possible for me to get infected?

Is under the nail musous membrane?

I know that when blood dries the hiv/hcv virus dies within hours (I read an article by CDC) but if it was still alive in the dried blood and got under my nail?

Thanks a lot because this situation is really worrying me.

Minia from Sweden

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would not give this exposure any more thought.



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