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Have small rashes on chest and feeling sick. Living with HIV infected person. Worried about transmission.

Apr 2013
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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 9351 Questions
Hi Dr. My son and I visited and stayed with a person who has AID's. This person was diagnosed in 1997 and thankfully has been on effective meds and has an undetectable viral load. My concern is that this person had two huge scrapes/scabs on his legs/shins. My brother was picking these scabs and there was wet blood under the scabs being picked. My 7 year old son was sharing a Xbox remote at one time with this individual. I saw no blood on the controller but my son had a small pin prick in his ear that he kept picking at and it barely bled. He also picks his nose at times till it bleeds. 7.5 weeks after our visit, my son got sick with a head ache and sore throat. I was worried, but I caught the same thing but was sick for longer, which helped me relax a little. Now three weeks ago, my son got a rash that started on his chest and then went to his back. Front went away in about 5 days, then the rash on back lasted about another 5 days. Also, my son has had a lot of drainage since last fall and his voice sounds raspy a lot. 1st, was he exposed to HIV? 2nd, does this sound like HIV? Please respond as this happened around Father's Day weekend 2012, and I have worried about this since. Thank you.
Posted Sat, 25 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 56 minutes later
Hi sir and welcome to XXXXXXX Thank you for your query.
I ve red your story few times, I understand your concerns but the risk of HIV transmission is really negligible. It is always advisable to take special care of children when there is a possible contact with HIV+ people( no matter how bad it sounds). But this particular case doesnt seems to be risky for transmission. There has not been a single known instance of HIV being transmitted trough casual contact in the environment.

First, it is true that HIV can be transmitted from one open wounds to another. But this should be close contact of relatively deep open wound with active bleeding,both wounds of course. Even in these cases risk is less than 0.05%.
Secondly, HIV virus dies within minutes outside the body. His xbox remote could be contaminated by sweat,hair or sebaceous suet. These substances cant transmiss HIV virus.

People are always confused by ARS(acute retroviral syndrome) and always think of the worse when they notice it. But this syndrom include most common nonspecific smyptoms of any respiratory infection, flu, allergy, migraine or some other benign conditions.
ARS usually develops 1-4 weeks after exposure and his signs and symptoms sound like respiratory infection which commonly goes with upper bidy rash in his age,but for exact diagnosis I suggest to visit pediatrician.

If you dont trust me and want to be sure about the diagnosis you can do HIv testing but I dont see any reason for it.
WIsh you good health. If you have any question I ll be glad to help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have small rashes on chest and feeling sick. Living with HIV infected person. Worried about transmission. 7 hours later
Thank you Dr. We administered an over the counter Ora-Quick test this afternoon. It was negative. Is that conclusive?
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 9 hours later
Hi. Yes it is conclusive if performed 12 weeks after exposure...
If this was performed earlier just repeat the test for few weeks if you want to be 100% sure. But as I said, considering the risk of transmission and now negative ora-quick there is really no possibility of infection.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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