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Nov 17, 2000

I am a cashier and I know that money is very dirty not to mention some of the customers. Anyway I took a check from a woman and I noticed it had blood on it. I had a cat scratch on my hand so if the blood got into my cut could I get aids?

Response from Ms. Gabriel

First, the basics. HIV can be transmitted by four body fluids: blood, semen, vaginal fluids & breast milk. One of these fluids has to come into contact with your blood stream in order to cause an infection. This can happen by (1)having unprotected sex with an infected partner; (2)sharing contaminated needles; (3)receiving infected blood; or (4)being born to an infected mother. That said, ask yourself the this question: "Did one of the four body fluids come into contact with my blood stream?" HIV does not last outside the body - exposure to heat, light and air will all kill it. In your scenario, the answer is "no."

As a cashier you would be smart to wash your hands -- not because of HIV, but because of all of those other nasty bugs on money that cause colds, flus and other annoying conditions. While you're working you would also be protecting yourself from those other annoying bugs by keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth until you've washed them. Cold and flu season is upon us!

Lynne Gabriel

Please can you help?
HIV exposure on the job?

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