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Spreading infection to infant?
Jan 6, 2013

My friend who is HIV positive met me in the ER tonight to hold my 3 month old baby while I took my older son in for an x-ray. When I came out, she was soothing the baby by having her suck on her finger. I don't know if she had any open cuts on her hand, but I can't stop worrying that my baby could be at risk of contracting the virus. I don't want to upset my friend and ask to see her finger, but if the risk of infection is serious enough, I will. Do you think this is reason to be worried? I can't stop stressing over this. Thank you so much.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi, Your baby is fine! For HIV transmission to occur there would have had to been a significant amount of blood your friends finger and your baby would have to have a sore or opening in their mouth. Also if your friend is in care and on treatment and has an undetectable viral load than the risk of transmission for any type of exposure reduces by up to 96%. I have been living with HIV for almost 21 years and have several nieces and nephews and the risk involved in any situation is the child giving me something to fight off as my immune system is compromised. There is no risk of transmission for your child and sucking on this persons finger.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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