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worried glassman possibly exposed?

Jun 1, 2007

Hello Dr Bob. Hope all is well! anyways I have a question I hope you will take the time to answer. I am a professional automotive glass installer and one day while at work, we were installing a windshield when I noticed that I was touching another guys smears of blood on the glass we were handling. The other installer that was helping me was bleeding on the glass as we were trying to put it in the car. I continued to work till the job was finished. The bad news is that I too had been bleeding just moments earlier and had fresh cuts on my hands while touching the bloody window. I am concerned about our blood mixing and me being infected with hiv. In this line of work we seem to always have either open cuts or freshly healed cuts on our hands and because of this I am slowly beginning to freak out wondering if I could have been infected. Doctor Bob, does this seem to be a likely mode of transmission even if we were both bleeding a little from our hands and fingertips. I realize in order for me to be at risk, the other installer would need to be hiv positive, if he was, how would you evaluate my overall risk? Thank you for your time!!! Donation to will be coming your way shortly!! Thanks Again!!! The concerned Glassman

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Concerned Glassman,

Overall I would rank your HIV-transmission risk as extremely low, but not completely nonexistent. Blood-to-blood transmission is a documented mode of transmission; however, in your case there are many confounding variables. The coworker would have to be HIV positive. A significant amount of his fresh HIV-positive blood would have to get into your fresh wound for there to be even a theoretical chance for transmission. I cannot give you an estimated statistical risk, as there are far too many variables to consider his HIV status, viral load, freshness of the blood, amount of blood, how open your wound was, etc. However, as I mentioned above, overall your risk is extremely low, if you are worried, get a single HIV rapid test at the three-month mark. It's probably also a good idea to stock up on industrial strength Band-Aids and/or a good set of gloves.

Thanks for your donation! In return I'm sending you my best good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test is negative, as I strongly suspect it will be!

Dr. Bob

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