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Please answer!!! I am very curious about this hiv info!
Apr 29, 2012

Hi Shannon,

I asked a question here not long ago and you were very helpful. Thank you very much! I have another question now that I am very curious about. I know that hiv doesn't survive long outside of the body and, after reading several of your own responses, that it requires a direct exchange of body fluids. All that in mind I was hoping you'd answer something for me. Please, please, please!!!

You hear about possible infections occuring in the healthcare setting, or workplace settings, due to needle sticks and blood splashes. Now focusing solely on blood splashes would you say that in the case of mucous membranes, such as the eyes and mouth, a large volume of blood is needed to infect an individual if the source is hiv positive? Furthermore say there was an incident involving blood at a workplace setting; if that blood ended up on the floor instead of in your face but you unknowingly got some on your hand and then rubbed your eye would it still be infectious?

I guess what I'm asking is when it comes to blood splashes, or blood outside of the body, does it essentially have to hit you, or find a route into you, as soon as it is in the open air to be infectious or considered infectious in the sense that the virus dies quickly outside of the body?

It seems to me too that with the odds being statistically low for a person to contract hiv through a blood splash, etc that the longer infected blood is in the open air the lower the risk becomes if it didn't strike you dead on when it was released into the environment. Is that correct?

Thank you, Heath

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi It's good to know that my answers have been helpful and I hope to continue here with your next round of questions! An occupational exposure does require a larger volume of blood and it does't happen very often but there are documented cases of this type of exposure. As for the second part of question, again it would have to be a large volume of blood. To your next question yes it has to be immediate.

It is very difficult for HIV transmission to happen this way.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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