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Exposed to Cough of an HIV Positive Person
Nov 15, 2011

Hi, Sir Richard,

Before anything else, I just want to say thank you for all the work you do in this forum, it is much appreciated.

Anyway, I am writing you because I am concerned about an incident that happened last September.

I was interviewing HIV positive individuals for a school paper when one of my interviewees accidentally coughed on me. Supposing there was blood mixed with his saliva and some of it went to my eyes, would I be at risk? The room was kinda dark so I couldn't check if there was any blood.

I already took an HIV test seven weeks after the incident and it thankfully turned out non-reactive. I know that you have to wait 3 to 6 months for a conclusive test but I was wondering if my 7 week test is already sufficient for a theoretical "exposure". Thanks a lot in advance for your answer.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

To be clear, this is a theoretical exposure. The situation you describe would NOT be a risk for HIV.

Most individuals can get an accurate result at 25 days but you will need to wait 90 days for a conclusive answer.

In health, Richard



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