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Casaul contact risk
May 22, 2001

A fellow employee where I work is HIV positive. I do not have a problem with this however recently he shook hands with me when he had a small prick on his thumb. I noticed this only after I had shook his hands and so did he. I checked my hands closely after this contact and could not see any visible blood and I did not have any breaks in the skin on my hands. I want to know whether I should be concerned about this incident as I am aware that HIV is not passed this way normally however given the different circumstances some further clarity would be appreciated.

Response from Mr. Kull

When HIV information states that HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, it takes into account the fact that you might be coming into contact with HIV positive individuals. Unless there is HIV positive blood coming into direct contact with your bloodstream or mucous membranes, HIV cannot be transmitted to you through shaking hands.

Read the CDC's fact sheet "HIV and its Transmission" (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/transmission.htm).

RMK



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