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Fresh Blood on Skin, what is the risk?

Feb 12, 2003

Sir, If I have fresh blood of a HIV infected person on my intact skin am I under real risk of having HIV? Is intact skin is a barrier for HIV. I have read in your forum that having vaginal secretion or semen on intact skin does not posess any real risk of getting infected. Is it true for fresh blood also? Concentration of HIV in fresh blood must be much higher than vaginal secretion. It is also said that HIV cannot survive in the environment for long. Then why people should be really worried for sharing injection needles because the blood come to the contact of environment before going into other persons blood stream.

Response from Mr. Kull

Intact skin is a barrier to HIV, regardless of the fluids in which it is present. In order for HIV to cause infection, it needs access to the cells of the immune system. This is achieved either through contact with the mucous membranes or the bloodstream; skin does not provide this sort of access, unless there are deep, fresh wounds present.


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