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HIV Prevention and Testing => Do I Have HIV? => Topic started by: GlassPort on July 03, 2020, 08:08:45 am

Title: Assessment
Post by: GlassPort on July 03, 2020, 08:08:45 am
Hi everyone, I wonder if you can advise me on a situation, please? I am aware it sounds odd, but please bear with me.

A few months ago, I posted a card through a friend's letterbox (UK type, in the door, with brushes). The brushes were quite stiff so I ended up pushing my hand right through to let the card drop, as otherwise it was half hanging out. I ended up cutting my hand somehow, either on the brushes, or the metal frame inside. It was not a hugely deep cut, but it did draw blood and hurt as it healed.

I didn't think too much of this, but a few days later I went to London for a break, and ended up contracting an unpleasant illness. I had a temperature between 39 and 40 celsius for about 2-3 days, lost my appetite, and about 4 days into the illness I developed a rash on my chest, arms and part of my face which lasted, maybe a day or two. I had muscles weakness for another day or so after the rash cleared up, but the total length of time of the symptoms lasted a week, and the time from when I cut my hand to the symptoms first appearing was about 6-7 days. I didn't have a sore throat at any time during the illness, and must say I also got quite chilled one day prior which I suspect was the cause.

I was in close contact with family members during the illness and nobody contracted it. It was pre-covid lockdown-  it could possibly have been that, or another viral infection which my doctor believes.

I wondered if, say a postman had cut their hand previously as I did, is it possible that blood could have been insulated from the air and temperature between the brush bristles, which are very compact and made of insulator material and may act like a kind of vacuum, and I could have contracted HIV or hepatitis? I realise this sounds silly and probably unlikely, but it has bothered me thinking about it. I would prefer not to test at this time if this is a no risk scenario.
Title: Re: Assessment
Post by: Jim Allen on July 03, 2020, 08:24:20 am

I read your post three times, it's no HIV risk whatsoever.

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, every time, no exceptions. Continue taking PrEP as an additional layer of HIV protection.

Keep in mind that some sexual practices which may be described as ‘safe’ in terms of HIV transmission might still pose a risk for transmission of other STI's, so please do get fully tested regularly and at least yearly for all STI's including but not limited to HIV and test more frequently if unprotected intercourse occurs

Also, note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms and the only way of knowing is by testing.

Kind regards


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Title: Re: Assessment
Post by: GlassPort on July 03, 2020, 03:00:21 pm
Hi Jim,

Thank you for the response, I really appreciate it, as it has been on my mind lately.

Just to help my understanding, and I realise you've probably answered many similar questions so I hope you don't mind, is it because the conditions would be too unsuitable in/between the bristles? Not the same, but I read that the viruses can survive a short time inside a syringe, but still break down quickly.
Title: Re: Assessment
Post by: Jim Allen on July 03, 2020, 03:30:44 pm

Look if the postman had bled to death through the letterbox it would not be an HIV concern for you.

Not the same, but I read that the viruses can survive a short time inside a syringe, but still break down quickly.

HIV can be transmitted through shared needles (syringes), this is mainly due to the near vacuum storage and injection of backwash in quantity directly into the bloodstream.

This does not apply to sharp objects exposed to the environment and to ramp this up instead of taking about letter box bristles lets pretend it was a discarded syringe.

HIV being too fragile to remain infectious outside the human body and it lacks quantity to infect thus it makes perfect sense there simply has not been a single documented cases of HIV transmission due to contact a discarded sharp or needle of any kind. None! Let alone contact with day to day objects or slightly sharp objects.

Relax, the postman did not give you HIV unless you have been having condomless sex with him  ;) Move on with your life.

Title: Re: Assessment
Post by: GlassPort on July 04, 2020, 01:02:32 pm
Hi Jim,

Thanks again for the summary. Just a final question, which I know you have already answered really, but for peace of mind, it also makes no difference if the bristles were ultra compact, i.e. no air between?

As for the postman, nice guy, but his cologne is too spicy for my tastes :)
Title: Re: Assessment
Post by: Jim Allen on July 04, 2020, 01:09:26 pm

No matter how compact the bristles in the letter box it would not be anything like storage in a vacuum or contain the volume of fluid to infect you with.