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Lab worker didn't use gloves to collect my blood.
May 8, 2013

Hi. I was hoping I could get some help with my question.

I was having my blood collected for a diabetes test (the one in which you have your blood collected a few times within each one hour). None of the times the person collecting my blood wore gloves. She used disposable needles and syringes, that I know for sure. But she didn't wear gloves one single time! I'm very timid so I couldn't say anything. I just kinda panicked. Also, after taking off my blood and wiping it off with the cotton, she unintentionally touched the blood on it and didn't seem to care. I figured: "Well, if she did this with me, she probably did with every other person collecting their blood here today." Obviously, each time she would take my blood she would touch my arm, tap her finger on the vein so she could find it, or whatever it was... And none of the times she had any visible blood on her fingers (which she might possibly have from touching other people's used cottons) and so, there was obviously no visible blood on my arm either. So my question is: for one to catch HIV by blood, does one need contact with visible blood, or is it possible that a minuscule, invisible blood particule could contain HIV and it would survive enough so it could pass from her finger to my arm, and then inside my vein when she pierced it with the needle?

I realize it's probably a very stupid question, but I have OCD and I'm deeply concerned with these things.

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

If you have OCD, that's a point for us to keep in mind throughout this question..

There is no risk from the situation you're describing. The person collecting your blood would've needed a significant amount of blood on their finger (which they didn't) and there would've needed to be a way for it to get into your body (which there wasn't). When you got blood taken the new hole in your body had blood coming out, not going in.

When you add all that together, there's no risk.

If you're having trouble internalizing this and believing this, then it's probably a moment for you to focus on your OCD and how that might be getting in the way of moving on.

Hope this helps!

Erik



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