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Please help a worried CO

Mar 22, 2013

Dear Shannon,

This is my third time asking this. I haven't gotten any answers from anyone else and while I know you're all busy I hope you can spare me your time. I am a Correctional Officer working in the hospital ward of a jail. Some time ago I had an incident where an Inmate who suffers from AIDS, he is very open about this fact, fell off a portable toilet and onto the floor. He vomitted when this occured. I called for assistance from the nurses and waited a few minutes but when no one had arrived I put on latex gloves and picked the man up before putting him back on the portable toilet and keeping him there. When the nurses arrived I removed my latex gloves before one of them asked me to hold the man by the shoulder and ensure he didn't fall over again. I did this. Approximately five or six minutes later I rubbed my eye without thinking because it started to itch. Could I be at risk for anything if there was residue on his skin? I don't think I touched any blood as I'm sure it would have been noticeable but maybe residue from vomit or anything else. I figure this entire incident took roughly 10 to 15 minutes total from beginning to end when I did rub my eye. My doctor says I am fine but I'd rather hear it from an expert. Please answer me.

-Worried CO

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi Sorry it has taken so long to get an answer to you. Your doctor is correct and you are fine. Very smart move with placing the gloves on this protected you not only from HIV but also Hepatitis. If there were blood present in the vomit, HIV begins to die once it leaves the body and is unable to infect. HIV transmission is not through saliva it is only through blood, semen, vaginal fluid and mother's breast milk.

You are fine!!!

Be well and stay safe, Shannon

only for USA?
Hi Mr Richard.

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