HIV transmission through an inflammatory condition of the navel
Aug 1, 2009
Dear Mr Frascino,
I am a correction officer and, due to self-injuries, fights etc, there is often blood in my working surroundings. Sometimes, I might have touched a small quantity, or traces, of blood without becoming aware of it. Besides, I have always had a little problem in the navel - it, often, gets irritated and sends off a malodorous liquid, like pus. I have been told that this is some kind of inflammation and that the navel has a little hole in it, leading to the interior of the belly. What troubles me is the possibility that a small quantity, or traces, of (fresh) blood has come into contact with my navel through the fingers - due to the fact that, sometimes, I put my finger in it when it is itchy. What happens if there was a small quantity of blood (up to a single drip because if there was more I would have noticed it) in my finger when I put it in the navel? Is that hole in the navel a gate of entrance, so to speak, for HIV? If so, is it tantamount to a mucous membrane/superficial cut or a deep cut? In short, should I get tested for HIV? I apologize if my worry is far-fetched or absurd. I haven't been able to find a relevant question in the Forum, so have the goodness to reply. Thank you very much in advance,
Nick from Greece
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Nick from Greece,
Your navel "sends off a malodorous liquid, like pus"????? Ick!
Your HIV-acquisition risk is negligible. However, I strongly recommend you have your navel problem attended to without delay. Pus squirting belly buttons can be off-putting in general and a real mood killer if you happen to be having a romantic tumble between the sheets.
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