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Blood in Workplace
Jul 27, 2004

Nancy,

First of all, I suffer from OCD. Have tried to control my irrational fears of contracting hiv. The other day after returning to my desk from lunch I noticed I had a small spot of dried blood between my thumb and index finger and do not recall cutting myself. If I came in contact with someone else's blood (from door handle or copier) and got it on myself, then proceeded to have lunch, can I contract hiv if the blood was hiv+?

Response from Ms. Breuer

When you talk about trying to control your irrational fears of contracting HIV, are you talking about something you're doing alone? This is a tough one to manage, and I encourage you to seek help. There is no reason to suffer over this.

A small spot of dried blood (if that is indeed what it was)does not pose a problem. Now, tell me the truth: someone with OCD would not find a spot of blood on the hand and then proceed to eat lunch without washing the hands, right? And that would solve that problem. With soap and water, you say goodbye to HIV (which is inactive in dried blood anyway), hepatitis B and hepatitis C. I am not suggesting compulsive handwashing here. But do wash them before your lunch.

Remind yourself of the ways that HIV is transmitted. You have to have intimate contact with a human, not a doorknob!



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