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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can HIV or hepatitis be contracted through an open wound?

Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3617 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 29 Aug 2017 in Infections
Question: any hiv hep b,c risk when an open cut touched a shopping bag from a store
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
no blood no risk

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

unless the bag was tinged with blood, there is no risk. HIV in particular cannot live outside the body and dies very soon so only fresh blood may result in transmission. Hepatitis B and C are more 'tough' than HIV when outside the body but without blood there is no risk as well.

Check your vaccination status for tetanus though as revaccination is required very 10 years (or sooner for 'dirty' cuts).

I hope it helps to reassure you!
Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 26 minutes later
i looked closely over the bag i cant see blood so give me your overview
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
no risk...

Detailed Answer:
I don't see any risk in a bag without blood. Please don't worry!

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 32 hours later
will a healing cut protect me from hiv hep b,c there is no active bleeding except my healing cut has red spots
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
no risk...

Detailed Answer:
Transmission requires blood to blood contact, so if your cut is not open, you don't need to worry. You shouldn't handle infectious material when having cuts though - just in case, since a cut is easier to be injured than normal skin.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 5 hours later
so healing cut is not open?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
it depends...

Detailed Answer:
Whether a cut is closes fast or not depends on how deep the injury was. When the cut is still open there is usually visible blood or pain when irritating substances come into contact with the wound (ethanol, povidone iodine, etc). The body makes sure that all cuts are closed as soon as possible by filling the gaps with skin (superficial injuries of the epidermis) or granulation tissue (deeper injuries). You can test your cut by applying some povidone iodine. If you don't feel burning pain then there is no opening. Otherwise there may be (not always) an entrance point.

Kind regards!

Brief Answer:
yes...

Detailed Answer:
Yes, there is no risk. There was no blood on the bag and your injury was minor (which means it can be completely sealed within even less than 24 hours).

Please don't worry!!

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 14 minutes later
it was a very minor cut not deep at all so am i risk free doc?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
yes to both

Detailed Answer:
Yes you're risk free.

A scab can be formed very fast - even within minutes. The initial scab will be reinforced later and the cut will start to heal with the formation of new tissue.

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 2 minutes later
so my healing cut form a scab usually within a few hours do you agree
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 7 minutes later
Brief Answer:
yes and usually yes...

Detailed Answer:
The answer to your first question is yes.

Regarding the second question the answer is yes but... if the injury is deep enough the initial scab may not be sufficient to provide complete protection. For superficial injuries there is no risk though.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 2 minutes later
so a soon my cut form a scab my cut is closed and will protect me from viruses?

thanks doc since this was a minor cut no worry for any risk since i get a scab within a few minutes ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
no risk

Detailed Answer:
I understand that you're worried about these diseases but please stay calm and try to keep in mind that if they were transmitted so easily, nobody would have been left without hepatitis!
A minor cut and contact with a bag without blood does not constitute a risky event.

Best wishes!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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