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Risk from casual contact with HIV positive friend "very scared need your help"
Jan 22, 2012

Hi. The other day I saw a friend of mine who is hiv positive. I shook his hand and then touched my lips which were very dry and cracked bleeding a little. I then realized he had a scratch from his cat on the hand that I shook that my fingers touched the scratch and immediately touched my cracked lips. I'm very worried please let me know if I'm at risk. I touched my lips within seconds of touching his hand. Thank you so much.

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for the question!

No risk. There was no HIV+ positive body fluid leaving your friend's body and going immediately/directly inside your body. HIV is not easy to get, it only happens when there is the perfect storm of the things I just mentioned. None of that occurred in the account you just shared with me. NONE.

In this day and age, people living with HIV are more able to be open about their status in many areas. For this reason I greatly appreciate your question! By doing your own education, you can discover how there is absolutely no chance of getting HIV from casual contact. You will also be able to grow in your capacity to support and love the HIV+ friend that you have. You will be able to spread the word to others that you can hug, shake hands, swim in the same pool, share the same clothes, and kiss your HIV+ friends. The only thing transmitted through that will be friendship.

I would encourage you to read our archives and testimonies from those who are living with HIV. There is a misconception in the general public that HIV is easy to get.. maybe this is fear of the unknown. But the real fear is in the hearts of many HIV+ people in our communities around the world who feel isolated and cut off from the same human contact they enjoyed before infection.

Hope this helps and encourages you to take those first steps to becoming an ally to people living with HIV.

Get started by taking our HIV/AIDS Quiz and reading Tasks for Friends and Family!

Erik



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