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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Irresponsible HCV
Oct 24, 2001

I have a student in my class that has HCV. She does a lot of things that I don't feel to be safe. She shares chap stick, share earrings, ect. The other day she had to go to the clinic because she had a bleeding ear. I have know idea what she may have gotton blood on. The desk, the door nob etc......! How should I approach her about this? Is her blood putting the other students at risk? How long can the viruses live in the blood on the desk and door? What about the students who sit at the same desk after her. THANKS!!

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

The only possible risk is through contact of the infected blood with an open laceration,or mucosa of the other person.The risk of trasmission in the situation you describe is very,very,very small.The only behavior that may be risky, is the sharing of earings and needles.The virus can remain viable for days,but it is more difficult to enter the body. You can aproach the situation by giving some information of the blood borne viruses,HIV ,HCV,HBV,and the risk factors.At the time, you can mention that every body should avoid blood,cover wounds,and be careful.You can also directly talk to the person about her condition,if will receive therapy,and instruct her to have safe sex,cover lessions etc.

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