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is there a risk of hiv through contact with someone's hand?
Sep 14, 2013

Recently, I was in a gas station with my daughter. A man keeps saying hello to her so I finally said that she can say high. He put his hand out and she touched his hand. I looked and his hands were extremely dirty and he had bandages on his fingers. I grabbed her and told her not to touch his hands. He apologized and said that he's been working. There may have been blood around the bandage, I am uncertain because how dirty his hands were it could have been dirt around the bandage just as easily.

I took her to the back of the store and put hand sanitizer on her hands and told her to rub them together I told her to keep her hands out of her face until we get home and wash them well. I got home washed her hands thoroughly with soap and water, dried them, and put more hand sanitizer on her hands. I then put her in the tub to clean her fully. This was yesterday. Today I noticed that she has a very small, hardly noticeable area on her hand with peeled skin like dead skin around it. Her skin doesn't appear to be open there and not bleeding or anything. Hand sanitizer doesn't seem to make it burn either. I examined her hands after she touched his hands and it didn't seem like anything visibly transferred. She had a small area near the bottom of her hand that had a little dirty type of substance on it. My question is, if this man was hiv positive, would there be a risk that my daughter got hiv from him.

I called the CDC but they weren't very helpful, she just started reading the ways hiv is transmitted, which I have done for myself. She mentioned cuts in the skin but just doesn't give me detail about how risky my particular situation is and was very unhelpful to my situation.

Sorry for the long question I just can't stand the thought of my daughter contracting something from someone who had the nerve to touch her hand with his hand looking the way that it was. Thank You.

Response from Mr. Glenn

There is no risk from this situation. AT ALL.

Think about the ways that the CDC told you that HIV is transmitted: A body fluid carrying HIV needs to come out of someone's body and go directly/immediately inside the body of someone else. All of this needs to happen. NONE of this happened in your situation.

I'm actually more concerned with your reaction. It sounds like the "worry of HIV" sent you into a tailspin of freaking out.

If you're having trouble understanding what is risky and what isn't after repeated explanations, you need to talk to someone face to face about how to manage your anxiety.

Hope this helps,

Erik



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