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Author Topic: Quick question
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

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Hello,
I have a quick question about an HIV risk. I know I've asked you about sexual acts that pose an HIV risk, but what non-sexual and pose a risk for HIV? I was handed a piece of paper today that after holding it a few minutes I noticed it had red aplattered and smeared on it. If this was HIV infected blood and I had a cut near my finger nail, could it have infected me? Thank you. I'm just pretty unclear on whether HIV can be transmitted outside the body.

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Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 41699

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Hi retro. Have you seen these articles we have about HIV?

The STI Files: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Positively Informed: An HIV/AIDS Roundup

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Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

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Yes. However I know all circumstances are different so I was wondering if you could comment on my exposure?
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Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Really, that statement isn't entirely accurate -- there are some basic factors that need to be involved for a risk to be present. So actually, "all circumstances are different" doesn't really apply here. The factors that are necessary are outlined in out HIV articles. The CDC fact sheet on transmission also covers your question -- http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/qa/transmission.htm

You are coming back to the boards asking very similar questions repeatedly, and I think instead of analysing every minute possibility, it would be far more worth it to talk about what's underlying here. Often when we have users with anxiety over and over again about a certain situation/risk, what is actually going on is some underlying, bigger fear, that is not being addressed.

Do you have any diagnosed general anxiety disorder or other anxiety condition? Do you experience anxiety like this around other things, or just the idea of HIV infection?

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Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

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So are you saying that this situation I described that I had falls under what the CDC calls casual contact? It just kinda freaked me out to see what I thought could be blood and realized I had touched it. I guess I just want to be sure I had no risk there because it worries me. Can you tell me that? And I'd like to know that and then I'd like to discuss my anxiety issues if we can do those things.
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Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 41699

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Please look again at the link I sent you -- it doesn't only talk about casual contact there, it deals directly with the kinds of questions you have been asking. Namely the "does HIV survive long outside of the body". And under the "casual contact" FAQ you can also follow the link they provide to studies of the few instances of "household" transmission that HAVE been reported, if you think that would help you reassure yourself.

I think from now on a clear line should be drawn -- we've given you all the information we have on HIV risk and transmission, we cannot give you anymore help around that, as we really don't have the resources to address every individual possibility. You have all the information you need to be able to assess any risk you may have. So it's time to focus on the big picture of the roots of the anxiety you're having around this.

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Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

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I understand and I don't want to get in trouble with the sure, I was just trying to figure out if there was a risk. I thought I touched someone else's blood..that seems to me to be an understandable worry, but I don't want to hurt any boundaries. I did read the stories about household contact, are you saying they should ease my worry because those instances involved direct or probably direct contact, and mine didnt? I really do not want to get any boundaries, but since you pointed out those stories I just want to understand what you are saying.
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Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Yep, that is exactly what I meant -- your situation doesn't resemble any of the ones mentioned in those reports of even the rare instances of transmission, so hopefully that will help you reassure yourself about when you are realistically at risk or not.

Did you check out the section about how long HIV can last outside of the body? Reading that information, how did it make you feel -- did you feel relieved, more able to relax? Or are you still anxious? With that question answered, did other worries immediately come to mind, or were you able to let go of your concern around the situation?

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Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

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Okay thank you, that's what I needed. Yes, I do become slightly anxious about these things which I do want to talk about but hearing no, you weren't at risk just helps because for all I know, it could have been one. But I'm glad to hear its not.

And honestly I've read those things before and all I can really think is that maybe what I touched had only been outside the body for a few seconds so maybe it was still a live virus. I'm not sure why I'm so anxious about it honestly.

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