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Possible exposure during stress test
May 18, 2012

I'm a healthcare worker who conducts stress tests. I had to prep a patient with with standard surgical clippers and abbrated the skin with mild sand paper. Unknown to me at the time the patient was HIV positive with a high viral load. We completed the stress test. Patient was very sweaty. I took numerous blood pressures where sweat got on my hands. There was no visible blood from the clipping or abbrating. I had to take the electrodes off with my hands. I didn't have any noticable scratches on my hands, although my cuticles are far from perfect. I know HIV isn't transmitted through sweat. Is it possible anything could have gotten under the nails or through the cuticles. I'm worried.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi, there:

I would not be concerned. HIV is not transmitted this way. The virus needs a portal of entry into the bloodstream. In a situation like this, the entry way was not present so you do not need to worry.

In health,

Richard



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