Aug 15, 2001
hi. i wrote this question many times and no one answered me. i jope you will. i m an eye doctor. before a month i examined an aids patient who feels a foriegn body in his eye. the examination was less than one minute. there were no cuts or fresh wounds on my hand. i m sure that i didnt touch his eyelids. but after tht i start thinking that i maybe touched his eyelids without gloves.what is the risk of touching the infectious external eye secretions without gloves?? do i need to take blood tests? please answer me. i m very worried.thank you
| Response from Ms. Breuer
Especially because you are a doctor, you need to know very well the ways that a bloodborne virus can be transmitted. There are only 4 body fluids that most of us (non-surgeons) can come into contact with that transmit HIV: blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. None of them appear in your question. There are no cases of HIV infection traced to eye secretions.
HIV is transmitted through these behaviors: unprotected sex with an infected partner, sharing contaminated needles, birth to or breastfeeding from an infected mother, or receiving a contaminated blood product. In your profession, your concern would be coming into contact with contaminated blood, and gloves are certainly adequate protection.
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