Patient: Dear sir/madam. Recently I treated a co-worker with first aid. (Work in construction) he had a minor laceration to his arm, which bled quite significantly. I applied first aid wearing protective gloves, etc. after treatment had finished (20min) later I used a hand sanitiser on both hands, no running water was available. My question is, if my co-worker was HIV+ and somehow my hand came in contact with blood (taking gloves off etc) and I had a small cut on my hand, what are the chances of HIV infection as it took a while to wash hands properly afterwards? Kind regards
Doctor: Thank you for writing to ATD.The maximum chances of getting HIV are through Needle sharing and through sexual contac t. The chance of getting HIV through the method you have described is very low as the virus cannot live outside the body for a long time. It will usually die within a few seconds of exposure to the air.Thus, the chance of you getting infected is very low. But just to be on the safe side, you can get some Post Exposure prophylaxis. PEP will involve taking a few tablets which prevent the multiplication of the virus in the blood. The course is only of 2 to 3 tablets and will be given by a Doctor if requested. The exact course varies from country to country.The chance of getting HIV even through needle prick is very low; If you get pricked by a needle with previous contact with a patient, the chance of getting HIV is only 3 out of 1000. Thus, your chance would be less than 0.3% and, in fact, would be less than 0.1%.If you are not able to put your mind to ease, please get a HIV test done after 6 months. It will confirm that you are negative for sure.Hope this helps you. All the best and kudos to you for helping a person in need.