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Author Topic: Realistic infection risk??  (Read 2475 times)

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Offline themunk1

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Realistic infection risk??
« on: September 27, 2007, 08:08:11 AM »
I was in a restaurant recently, and I cut my finger on a glass olive oil bottle that was on our table (the top of the bottle was chipped and quite sharp!).  The waiter had taken the bottle from another table to ours, so it's likely other people had been using it shortly before us.

My question is, if someone else had cut themself as well - which would have been easy to do given the chipped top - would there be any risk of HIV transmission?  I couldn't see any blood on the bottle, but I suppose there could have been a minute amount.  The bottle was on our table only a few minutes before I cut myself (minor cut, but it did bleed).

Is this a realistic risk or am I just being an idiot?  I've read about people becoming infected through broken glass in medical situations, but I'm hoping this is a completely different circumstance!

Thanks for your help!!


Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Realistic infection risk??
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 08:17:27 AM »
This is not a realistic risk for HIV infection. The "few minutes" you mention were more than enough time to render HIV inactive - more to the point, there was not even visible blood, HIV infected or not, on the olive oil bottle.

HIV is infectious. It is not contagious. Were it as easy to spread as your fears suggest, the pandemic would be an extinction-level event. It is not.

I hope you are aware that most people do not have this unwarranted fear of and preoccupation with HIV. I further hope you find a professional with whom to resolve this fear. I suspect that medical and scientific facts alone will not be sufficient to do this, as there will always be chipped bottles, sewing needles, barbershop razors, and the like.

HIV is primarily spread through penetrative sexual contact, or sharing drug-injecting needles. It has been reported in medical emergency situations, but these comprise less than two hundred confirmed cases to date. Given the hundreds of thousands of needle-stick injuries and healthcare-related exposures to blood, it is obiously a VERY unlikely event, even in the most "opportune" circumstances.

Touching a chipped olive oil dispensor at an eating establishment is not at all a risk.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Realistic infection risk??
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 09:11:25 AM »
Mike, this epidemic is going to be with us for a longtime to come so no one can afford to be unknowing about the basics of transmission. Read our lesson about this and you'll get the information you need. You can reach it through the Welcome thread which opens this section. That way you can protect yourself and be spared worrying needlessly as you have been over this recent incident.

Andy Velez


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