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blood transmission on intact skin
May 7, 2010

Can you get HIV/HCV transmission via blood contact onto intact skin? I was performing a procedure and a few drops of blood from a HCV patient (unknown HIV status) landed on my Crocs, which was covered with cloth-like/OR style (blue) shoe covers that you use in the hospitals. After I removed the show covers, I noticed that there were small blood stains on my Crocs, which had perforations on the top of the shoes. I did not have socks on my feet, but when I examined my feet, there was no blood on my feet, as far as my eye could tell. There was also no cuts or abrasions on my feet. I cleaned it with alcohol and rinsed it.

However, can there be microscopic blood that can seep through my skin or through hair follicles, if my skin appears intact? Is there a reason to be worried? Does this even count as an exposure? Do I need to do anything about it?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your HIV/HCV-acquisition risk is completely nonexistent. I see absolutely no cause for concern or testing.

To answer your basic question, no, HIV/HCV cannot permeate intact skin.

Dr. Bob



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