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Am I at risk of HIV infection by skin-to-skin contact?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1391 Questions
hi doctor
i am having frequent fears about unusual hiv infections.

Yesterday, I was walking in a hypermarket when a guy accidentally rubbed my left hand with his arms. I saw some bruises (red cuts) on his arms and I got worried whether I could contract the HIV virus. I had small piercings on my hand (12cm, not bleeding and not clearly visible) about 4 hours before the incident and I was not sure whether his bruises came into contact with my pierced skin.

My pierced skin was very small (three straight dotted lines) and not bleeding. Am I at risk of infection?
I checked my arms and there were no blood. I am fearing that maybe small amount of not clearly visible blood could have been passed to my small piercings. However, I washed my piercings with soap within 2-3 minutes.

Am I unnecessarily fearing or is there any risk of infection in this way? How many cases like these have you encountered before?
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 14 hours later

Thanks for your query.

These are the main ways in which someone can become infected with HIV:

-Unprotected penetrative sex with someone who is infected.

-Injection or transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products, donations of semen (artificial insemination), skin grafts or organ transplants taken from someone who is infected.

-From a mother who is infected to her baby; this can occur during pregnancy, at birth and through breastfeeding.

-Sharing unsterilised injection equipment that has previously been used by someone who is infected.

Apart from this HIV does not spread by casual contact ,sharing of clothes plates ,casual skin to skin contact .

In your case there was no visible blood on your skin so there is almost zero chance of getting HIV or other disease like Hepatitis C.

Even with hollow needle with HIV positive persons blood on it and getting prick into your skin ,chances of transmission is 0.3%.

So I want to assure you that getting HIV in your case in very unlikely.

Hope Ive answered your query,will be there for any follow up queries.

Dr Sudarshan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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