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mountainman1970
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Reged: 01/31/11
Posts: 5
HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut
      #254087 - 01/31/11 02:03 PM

hi there. first i must say I have terrible anxiety over this possible exposure. 10 days ago, i was at a barber shop with my father. he was getting his hair cut. the barber was gay. afterwards the barber came over to me and shook my hand. i didnt think too much of it at first, but after i remmbered i had a tiny cut on my index finger from either the day before or 2 days before the handshaking. anyway, the cut was not bleeding and i didnt notice any blood or cut places on the barber mans hand. the handshaking took less than 2 seconds. i guess my question is what is my risk here? i have asked repeatedly on other forums and even the doctors forum over at a popular medical website. everyone told me i had no risk at all. i guess my question would be..IF and that is IF there had been a cut place or any blood on the barber mans hands or fingers, how long does hiv stay active outside the body in blood? I am so terrified of having to test again. I tested a few years back over and over repeatedly out to over 1 year and a half afterwards and all of my tests were negative then.. and I just dont think that i can go thru this again, even to the 3 month mark. can someone please let me know if this is a risk or not and even if the HIV virus remains active outside its host body and for how long. the CDC website says that HIV is not infectious outside its host body. God, can someone please help me out. Thanks!

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Jackie__Blue
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Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254088 - 01/31/11 02:56 PM

Not sure why you felt the need to mention the barber was gay. I guess that means if you didn't think the barber was gay, you wouldn't be repeatedly asking the same question and getting the same answer from multiple forums. Which is kinda stupid since Heterosexuals account for the majority of infections worldwide.

I guess if accepted what you have already been told and let your bias of people go you might not be putting yourself through this completely unnecessary stress.

You've had your answer. It's your choice now to listen and understand that this is a no risk situation, cut or no cut....or continue to stress over this.

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mountainman1970
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Reged: 01/31/11
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Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254089 - 01/31/11 03:18 PM

thank you so much for your answer. to be honest with you, i am a bi/straight person.. i had a real risk years ago and swore that i would never put myself at risk again. i guess some of that is playing into this. and i know that people shake hands everyday and dont even know that someone is gay or straight. i didnt mean to offend anyone if it appeared that way. it is just hard to accept that there "could" have been some sort of a risk. in my mind "any" potential risk is a valid one, even if it was coming into contact via a handshake. i just worry about what ifs and such. and i just dont want to feel as if i have to wait until sometime in late april to have to test for this crap. i also called a local cdc location and the lady told me pretty much the same thing and that she wouldnt even test for this.. she said it was a minimal or probably not even a risk at all, only if there was a huge sore place on me and the other guy having a sore place that were both bleeding. God, why is it so hard for me to accept this? i know all of this sounds easy for you and would prob sound easy to most people on this forum who had real risks and also to people who actually have HIV. i have always been a constant worrier.. and I know I need help.. the biggest thing that helped me so far was reading that Dr. Bob on this website pretty much tells everyone it is no risk at all, and the CDC website says that HIV is not infectious out of its host. I guess, jackie, my question to you would be.. does the statement "not infectious outside its host" include cuts??? I mean if there happened to be a cut on someones hand and the blood was exposed, would that mean that the exposed blood would not be infectious? thanks so much for you help. it is greatly appreciated!

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Jackie__Blue
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Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254090 - 01/31/11 04:48 PM

Exposed blood would be exposed to the outside environment, wouldn't it. HIV is rendered harmless by outside influences. People become infected from unprotected sex and sharing needles. That's it.

But again, you've already heard all this I'm sure. Repeatedly asking doesn't seem to be helping you accept the fact this is no risk and continuing to do so is not mentally healthy for you.

It would be a good idea to focus upon the reason(s) that you can't accept all the repeated answers you have received. I don't think you will be able to let this go until you address those underlying issues and doing nothing about those underlying issues will only serve to allow your fears to run your life.

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mountainman1970
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Reged: 01/31/11
Posts: 5
Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254091 - 01/31/11 05:14 PM

hey there again! thank you so much for your help. what you are saying is making so much sense and thanks for the clarification. I guess what has me worried is that one website says one thing and another one says another as far as when speaking about the amount of time it takes for the virus to become inactive. i was pretty much ready to let this go saturday night when i read that the virus becomes unable to infect outside its host via the cd.gov website and other forums). but the cdc website didnt mention anything about the blood still being on the body of the host.. it only mentioned things about the blood being on an environmental surface.. I was confused. If I knew that the virus was 100% inactive just being outside its host, ex (esposed to air, temp, etc), then i would be fine and i could let it go. i do honestly feel much better about the situation knowing that the virus is not infectious after leaving the host, but i guess my question would be... when does it become inactive? I know deep down that i didnt see anything on this persons hand nor did i feel anything on his hand. and I didnt see anything on my hand. i just had the tiny healing cut. i even went for about 2 hours before washing my hands after the handshake. but I guess there are always what ifs..Jackie, you are fantastic.. if you can assure me that the virus is inactive, even still on the hosts body and not just a random environmental surface, then i will be fine. i guess i just like absolutes. thanks so much again for your wonderful help.

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Jackie__Blue
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Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254092 - 01/31/11 06:21 PM

I'm sorry but there is nothing more to discuss in terms of this non-risk situation. I'm not here to enable your inability to accept what you already know by continuing this discussion.

If you can't come to terms with the fact that this is a nothing issue and slightly insulting to those with HIV, that you continue to entertain any idea that this was a risk, there is nothing anyone can do for you. If you continue to stress about this please seek proper mental health counseling.

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mountainman1970
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Reged: 01/31/11
Posts: 5
Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254093 - 01/31/11 06:35 PM

hey there. thanks again for your reply. you have been a big help. but please, if you can answer me this, I will be happy. My main concern is that if this person did have a cut on his hand or finger and it came into contact with my cut.. supposing that this other person has blood on his wound, would his wound still be considered an environmental surface? that is my main question. if i can get by that and get a difinitive answer, i will be fine. in retrospect, i have toched many door knobs, bathroom door handles, etc and never worry about it, due to that not being a risk. its just that I had this small cut this time on my finger and that is what is freaking me out. if I hadnt had the cut, i wouldnt have even woried about. Jackie, to be honest with you.. the people who gave me my HIV tests in 2007, were HIV positive, i had my tests done at an HIV clinic. I shook hands with them, and allowed them to prick my finger. I never thought another thing about it. and I wouldnt have either this time, if I hadnt have had a cut. anyway, if you can help me with the part about whether or not the HIV being un infective on his hand, that is if he had any blood on his hand.. then I can move on. Thats all that is bothering me. i know I prob sound like a homophobe, but I am not and I do not mean any dissrespect towards anyone. thanks

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bartlebyAdministrator
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Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254096 - 02/01/11 11:26 AM

hey mountainman. as jackie has stated, you were not at risk. there is no need to discuss this anymore or talk about theoretical far-fetched risks.

here is your definitive answer. no one has ever been infected through shaking hands. cut or no cut. you do not ever have to worry about HIV when shaking hands. your small cut is irrelevant. unless you were both bleeding profusely and had significant wound-to-wound contact, you do not have to worry.

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mountainman1970
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Reged: 01/31/11
Posts: 5
Re: HIV risk from a handshake with a tiny cut new
      #254099 - 02/01/11 02:31 PM

thank you so much for your help. like i said, i never saw any blood nor any other fluids. the barber had just gotten finished cutting my dads hair, so common sense would tell you that if he had been bleeding profusely, dad would have been covered in blood. this stuff just scares me to death. 4 years ago, I had several real risks with gay men, no protection.. i tested out to well over a year and a half, all negative tests. i swore i would never put myself at risk again then this happened the other day..if there had been no cut, then i wouldnt have been worried. i hope you all can understand my fears. thank you both for all of you help. i spoke on another popular forum and it was explained to me about the reasons why handshaking i not a risk. even with cuts. dr.bob on this website has also told countless others that handshaking wih cuts and even handshaking with cut to cut, is no risk.. so, i will have to take those answers as fact and forget this even happened. thanks again so much for your help!

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