hiv and gloves

Question

If you were taking care of a patient with full blown aids and got a moderate amount of blood on your glove and had a few cuts on hand under the glove-could you get hiv/aids that way? Can hiv penetrate the glove? When I took the glove off I didn't have any blood on my hand and then washed them very well! Please help!

Answer

An intact glove is excellent protection. No, HIV cannot penetrate the intact glove. If there was no blood contact with your hand, you did not experience an exposure.

Interestingly, a patient with "full blown AIDS" may not be as infectious as a newly-infected person who doesn't even know that s/he has HIV yet, because of the high viral load characteristic of early infection. So those gloves need to be standard procedure! Don't let the Chicken Littles who tell you for political reasons that condoms don't work scare you about whether the gloves are effective. When used correctly, latex is a great barrier.