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HIV AND CIRCUMCISION
Nov 7, 2001

My newborn son was recently circumcised. I was checking the area and it was bleeding so I went into the nursery to get some gauze (I am also an employee). I touched the door handles from my room to the nursery as well as surfaces in the nursery and back into my room. I then picked up the gauze and without even thinking placed a gauze pad over the area of my sons bleeding circumcision. I do not know if there was any blood on any of the door handles or surfaces in the nursery but it terrifies me that I could have possibly been an entry for my son acquiring hiv. I know better and should have washed my hands but I clearly was not thinking. Please help put my mind at ease. I have enough to keep me busy without worrying about this. What are your thoughts. Thank you so much- a very worried new mother.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Dear New Mother,

Please set this worry aside. What you describe is NOT a possible mode of transmission of HIV. Other germs, yes, but you already know that. I think you'll do first-rate first aid on this son for the rest of his growing-up because you'll remember how awful you felt after this. Handwashing and a clean bandage...you know. But you didn't put him at risk for HIV. You would have to have touched fresh, wet HIV+ blood and then immediately touched the bloody part of your hand to your son's wound. And you didn't. Even that would not necessarily have led to an infection.

Have fun with your new son! Nancy



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