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open skin, but not bleeding
May 21, 2013

Hi and thank you for reading my question. I am confused by some of the answers I have read regarding transmission through skin openings caused by excema and other dermatitis related conditions. Is it possible for transmission to occur if broken down skin from excema comes in contact with HIV infected blood or fluid? It seems that some of the answers realted to this subject say no and some say low risk. If the skin is not bleeding is there a risk? I constantly struggle with excema and openings on the skin and have several friends that are HIV+. I would like to think of myself as realistic and well educated, but I must admit that my anxiety goes out of control in regards to this possibility. Please help. I know there is no risk from casual contact, but what happens if one of my friends was bleeding and we didn't realize it and it ended up getting on open areas of my skin? I know that it is not probable, but I feel like it is poddible and I want to be armed with the most accurate info. I feel like I am always looking to make sure there is no blood...again any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi The short answer is theorectically yes it is possible but in all of the 33 million people diagnosed over the last 35 years or so were not infected not through skin contact. This includes excema, dermititis etc.... HIV transmission occurs when there is a direct exchange of body fluid through blood, semen, vaginal fluid or mother's breast milk. The majority of these exchanges happen through sexual contact or sharing needles.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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