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Contact with HIV blood on skin
Aug 20, 2006

Hi Doctor:

My brother is in the late stages of AIDs and while cleaning up quite a bit of dried blood on his forehead, my skin accidently came in contact with some of the blood. I washed it off with soap, however I cannot remember if I had any sores or cuts on my skin at the time. What is the likelihood of infection? Is it best to get tested?

Thanks, Simon

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Simon,

HIV cannot permeate intact skin. Your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent, because the blood was "dried" and the cut, if in fact there was one, was most likely not fresh and/or deep enough to pose a risk. However, if you are worried, the option to get tested is always available to you. As a general rule, when in contact with potentially infected bodily fluids, gloves should be worn as a precautionary measure.

Simon, thank you for helping your brother retain his dignity and providing the comfort of a caring brother at his side as he struggles with the challenges of late-stage AIDS. Please know your compassion is appreciated.

Give your brother a hug from me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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