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HELP BECOMES LIABILITY??
Nov 20, 2002

This afternoon, I stepped forward to help a man when he fell and hit his head on the floor. I had forgotten that I had a small prick inside my finger nail and came into contact with his blood. I am now very worried whether I would get infected if the man is HIV-infected. My wife is still breastfeeding my 2-year old son and I am very worried about their well-being if I became infected unknowingly. Thank you for your kind attention.

Response from Mr. Kull

While risk of infection with a bloodborne pathogen is always possible when coming into contact with blood, it's important to remember that HIV is only known to be transmitted through the following three ways:

1) Sexual contact: anal, vaginal, and oral sex

2) Blood-to-blood contact: primarily through sharing injection needles, occupational exposures, blood transfusions (which is rare in the U.S.).

3) Mother-to-infant: either through delivery or during breast feeding.

This means that the risk for transmission in your case is practically negligible.

RMK



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