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HIV from blood tainted urine?
Sep 23, 2009

I am a nursing student and I was caring for a patient who may or may not have HIV. This pt had a UTI. Her labs showed that she had a high amount of white blood cells in her urine. The pt needed to use the bathroom so I gave her a bedpan. When she was done I went into the restroom to m throw it into the toilet but another patient ran into me and a significant amount of urine spilled onto my shoes and pants. The shoes that I was wearing were clogs with many holes in them. I have a deep and large gash on the top of my foot and I think some of the urine went inside of it considering my sock was saturated. I ended up walking around all day with those socks and pants. My question is: since the pt had white blood cells in her urine, does that mean HIV was also present in her urine? Could I get HIV from her urine entering my body from the large gash on my foot?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Nursing Student,

First of all I want to remind you and all health care workers that any time you sustain a potential occupational exposure you should report the incident so that it can be documented and appropriately evaluated. Had you done so, you wouldn't be writing to me, as your questions would have already been addressed.

Your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent. Urine that does not contain visible blood is not felt to be a risk for HIV transmission. Also, the chances of contracting HIV through your clogs, pants and socks is also extremely remote, even if the fluid was HIV tainted and you had a gash on your toe.

I would still suggest you report the incident to your advisors. Also, encourage your teachers to provide you and the other students with additional training on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. This should include a review of the policies and procedures surrounding occupational exposures as well as issues involved in caring for HIV-positive patients.

Good luck in your future career!

Dr. Bob



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