Nurse exposed to HIV + blood

Question

I am a nurse who was working, I took blood from an HIV + patient, wore the protective gloves and no problems during ths procedure. However, approximately 1 minute later the patient asked that another piece of tape be put on the gauze where the blood was taken from his arm and when I applied the tape (with no gloves on), he lifted his hand up and brushed across mine. I looked at my hand to see a red smear across my skin...not dripping blood, but just a red smear on intact skin. I used the alcohol hand wash and then washed my hands with soap and water within a couple of minutes of this exposure. Please advise me of my transmission exposure possibilities as I am feeling somewhat anxious over this incident. Thanks very much for your time and information.

Answer

Hello,

The HIV-acquisition risk from this occupational exposure is nonexistent. HIV cannot permeate intact skin. However, it is imperative that all occupational exposures (or potential exposures) be reported to your occupational health division where the incident can be documented, evaluated and, if necessary, treated.

Dr. Bob