Is a bloody handshake a risk for hiv?
Feb 10, 2014
I recently shook hands with somebody who had a fairly recent cut on their palm. It didn't look like the cut was bleeding but there was a little bit of smudged and dried blood around the cut. I didn't notice their cut until after I shook their hand. I didn't have any cuts or open wounds on my hand at the time. I didn't see any of their blood on my hand. I immediately used a generous amout of hand sanitizer. I don't know the hiv status of this person.
I know that shaking hands is not a mode of hiv transmission. However, can hiv be transmitted when there is blood involved in a handshake? Like I said I didn't have any bleeding cuts myself and I used sanitizer right after. But I did have a hangnail that was fairly tender to the touch. Am I at risk for hiv from this incident? Should I get tested? Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer th question.
Response from Ms. Southall
Hi No need to worry! Transmission of HIV from a contaminated surface would require massive exposure to blood or other infected liquid for a prolonged period of time (for example: a blood soaked shirt of a health care worker that remained while she performed CPR). See HIV101 for how HIV is and is not transmitted. You would have to have a big open wound on your hand and you would have to prolong and direct contact with the blood in order for there to be a risk of transmission. This is not a way for HIV transmission to occur.
Be well and stay safe, Shannon
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