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dried, cracked hands & hiv exposure
Oct 11, 2001

i am a very frequent handwasher, as a result of this I have very dry, cracked hands despite using lotion. The other day at work (a hospital) I looked down & saw an area on my hand that had broken open and had a small amount of blood present. I had not started any actual patient care, I had just finished with shift report. Is there a risk of hiv transmission from coming into contact with areas at the nursing station and things that had been on the floor that I touched before I realized I had this open area? I am making myself crazy with worry.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Wow, does it take energy to worry about this kind of exposure! Please take some of that energy and use it to read from several sources--including this website--about how HIV is and is not transmitted. You will not acquire HIV from an environmental surface. If your skin breaks, please bandage the break and go on with your job. This worry is not fruitful, and it could distract you from the real infection control needs of your job. Does that make sense? Your time is too precious to spend it worrying about a non-exposure to a pathogen that literally comes apart in oxygen.

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