HIV from Steel Wool?

Question

Hello, We often use steel wool at work for scrubbing our metal cooking trays at work. I'm wondering, since my hands are often cracked and sore from doing the dishes, would it be possible to contract HIV from using this steel wool after someone I work with? Assuming that a co-worker has HIV and also cracked/bleeding hands? I'm wondering how long it takes for the virus to die outside the body, I guess. I know the virus inactivates when it is dry, but the steel wool we use is generally still moist between uses.

Answer

Thanks for your question,

I could see how this might make you curious, but there is no risk from this situation at all.

It would only be risky if the person with HIV was using that steel wool in such a way as to bloody their hands up significantly! I'm talking visible blood on that wool (in a case like this, they probably won't be allowed to work anymore). Then your hands would have to be in the same condition.

None of this is going to happen.

Hope this helps,

Erik