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aids through liquid in eyes
Sep 7, 2001

I am a cashier and I frequently deal with many people. I also happen to have ocd so this may seem ridiculous but it would ease my mind if you could help me. I was checking out a customer and I felt liquid in my eye as I picked up an item. It was cold and I am relatively certain it was water. But I am just wondering how likely is it to transmit hiv through the eyes in this way or any other way. Thank you for providing this service.

Response from Ms. Breuer

It must be tough to have obsessive compulsive disorder in an age of AIDS. Wow. But this time I think you can let go of the concern. There are a few obscure cases of HIV from fluid spills to the eye, but the fluid was blood from an HIV-infected person. If the person you were checking out had exposed you to blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk, two things would be true: you definitely would have known it, because to be infectious it would have had to be "spilled" right there in your checkout line, and you would need to be checked out against the remote possibility that there was HIV or hepatitis B in that fluid. But a cold liquid to the eye probably was water from the veggies or some frozen food, and it poses no risk to you. Thanks for asking, and please give yourself permission to let this one go.

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