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Irony at its best?
Jan 20, 2009

I work at an HIV clinic and often have people asking some questions. I wish for you to please help me to help these guests to have a comfortable experience. So here's a question for you doctor!

Is there a chance of contracting HIV at an HIV clinic while getting tested?

Like getting a rapid finger prick test and not using a band-aid then touching door knobs,tables etc. or anything with potential blood on it? Or is the actual size of the poke on your finger to small to contract...or just not a high chance of blood on surfaces?

Or re-using finger pricks? (highly unlikely)

Or shaking hands while having the exposed finger prick?

I ask because HIV clinics are of course filled with people who are HIV+ I don't want to be ignorant, just knowledgable.

I will send a donation right away! I thank you for the wonderful service you provide.

Are these common worries amongst people who have HIV anxiety? For example, getting infected at the HIV clinic where getting tested for HIV?

I thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.

Where do I send donations?

Love, Nurse cutie :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Nurse Cutie,

1. Is there a chance of contracting HIV at an HIV clinic while getting tested? No, unless the client has unsafe sex with an HIV-positive lab technician while getting his test done.

2. After a rapid test finger prick, there is no HIV risk from touching door knobs, tables or anything else in the clinic. Period.

3. Lancets and needles are not reusable.

4. Shaking hands after a finger stick for a rapid test is not a risk for HIV.

5. Are these common worries among anxious nervous wrecks? Absolutely. The archives of this forum are loaded with similar questions. Have a look and please feel free to refer your concerned clients to this site for accurate science-based information as well as reassurance.

Donation information for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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