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Contact with HIV / AIDS infected persons.

Sep 29, 2012

I am a healthcare support worker. I recently came in contact with a HIV positive / AIDS patient in their room in the hospital. While I am aware of the way HIV / AIDS spreads, I have the following questions : (a) What precautions do I need to take when coming in contact with HIV / AIDS patients. (b) Is it safe to use the same footwear i.e. shoes, at home after returning from hospital where I am in contact with HIV patients in their rooms. (c) Is it safe for me to wash my uniform / scrubs at home along with other family clothes after returning from work.

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

It sounds like you still may have some basic questions about how HIV is spread. HIV is ONLY spread when HIV positive body fluid comes out of someone's body and goes directly/immediately inside someone else's body. In a healthcare setting, this is only a concern when you're in direct contact with BODY FLUIDS. That most certainly is NOT a concern in the questions you're asking.

Additionally, if you're in a healthcare setting, you should already be familiar with universal precautions. Please check out our article on it here: Universal Precautions. When you're in a situation that makes you feel concerned (because there's actual risk), please please please talk to a supervisor on how to proceed.

Hope this helps,


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