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workplace transmission
Sep 10, 1999

I have a question that relates to situation which actually happened.

A female employee, hiv +, masturbated in the bathroom (another employee observed this), and then didn't wash her hands. The other employee, who observed this whole situation, proceeded to follow her; about 20 or 30 seconds later I met her (the hiv + woman) at my cubicle, and she shook my hand. I then rubbed my contacts immediately after (I have a habit of rubbing my contacts).

NOW, the other employee, who followed the first lady with poor bathroom manners, told me immediately what she did and that she didn't wash her hands. (she noticed that I was rubbing my eyes and asked me not to) I have two questions,

1) Can I approach this lady and kindly request her to use better judgement.

2) Am I at risk for hiv infection from indirect contact with the vaginal fluids that was most likely on her hand.

thanks.

Response from Ms. Breuer

You are certainly right that better judgment is called for in this situation. I question the judgment of anyone who would run to you with a story like this about a female colleague--such a person is quite a liability in the workplace--and I question the wisdom of rubbing your contacts. Great way to catch a cold or the flu. If you're going to rub your contacts, I suggest washing your hands more often.

As to the idea that such a scenario could lead to an HIV infection: fantasy.

Nancy Breuer



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