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HIV in martial arts
Jun 23, 2014

At our martial arts school ,we sometimes have to punch the rough side of a gymnastic matt. This is usually done with 2 people sharing 1 matt.

Now from time to time, both me and my punching partner (who is BTW not always the same person) have bleeding knuckles. My partner than leaves bloodstains on the matt when punching and when it's my turn, I start punching the matt at the same spot, leaving my own bloodstains. And then we switch again.

I have no idea if anyone in my martial arts class has HIV. But if my punching partner does have HIV, is it possible that I can get HIV from accidentally punching his fresh bloodstains with my bleeding knuckle? I mean as in my small open cut exactly hitting a bloodstain. I'd like to add that there is not often much blood involved. It's mostly small cuts on the knuckles caused by grazing against the rough side of the matt and multiple droplet sized bloodstains on the matts. Someone did once get a bigger cut on his knuckles with more blood (still not gushing out, but the blood covered his whole knuckle), but after his turn was over, it got bandaged

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi You cannot get HIV from sharing utensils, drinking after someone etc. You cannot get HIV as well at a hair salon, manicurist etc. For HIV to transmit in this situation there would need to be direct and prolonged exposure to body fluids, semen, vaginal fluid, blood or mother to child through breast feeding. This most commonly occurs through unprotected vaginal or anal sex and sharing of needles. Casual contact, sharing utensils, drinking after someone, etc are not way for HIV transmission to occur. If you go to this link HIV101 it will take you to our page that talks about the ways in which HIV is and is not transmitted. Also important to know is that once HIV leaves the body it begins to die and becomes unable to infect.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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