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Can Hepatitis viruses and HIV be transmitted thru a superficial scratch on the arm?
Apr 24, 2011

Dear Dr,

I tried to help a girl (friend's friend) from hurting herself. She kept bashing her hand on the road. He knuckles were bleeding. In trying to help her, she scratched me (red gashes on the skin) on the arm. Her blood may have contacted the scratches on my arm but definitely contacted my intact skin. Any risks of Hepatitis C and HIV from such an incident if she is infected? I came to know she is a drug addict who suffered from depression. The scratches she inflicted on me were not deep. The skin had been red for about 20 hours (almost unnoticeable 20hours later), and was not oozing blood or anything. I have hep A and B vaccination, so am concerned about Hep C and HIV.

Thanks. Am very worried. Am I at any risk of Hep C or HIV? (assuming she is +ve for both)

Thank you so much.

Response from Dr. McGovern

The way you describe this, I think you are not at risk since she scratched you, but you yourself were not bleeding....That is reassuring.



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