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Is it possible to transmit hiv through contaminated tampons?

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Practicing since : 2003
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I am a nurse and have been all consumed with the fear of contracting HIV from an encounter with blood this past week. I am on my period, and usually at work am very careful before inserting a tampon in assuring that there is nothing on my hands. This shift was very busy and I was rushed, so I went into the bathroom, and realized there was a drop of blood on the toilet. I grabbed a handful of paper towels and dabbed it dry. My pager was going off so I quickly inserted a new tampon. It was then I realized I could have contaminated my hand when dabbing up the blood with the paper towel before inserting my tampon. I am now worried the blood was on my hand or got on the tampon applicator and was then inserted into my vagina. Is this an HIV risk? I know HIV does not live well outside of the body, but this was wet blood. Thanks in advance for your help.
Posted Thu, 18 Apr 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Rohit Batra 29 hours later

Thanks for your query to XXXXXXX

HIV transmission through contaminated tampons is never heard of. Though risk of transmission through contaminated tampon is very slim, but as the HIV status of the contaminating blood is not known, to be on the safer side you can get p24 antigen detection done. That is one of the earliest tests to come positive. Meanwhile, you can take post exposure prophylaxis under your physician's guidance.

Dr.Rohit Batra
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it possible to transmit hiv through contaminated tampons? 15 hours later
It's been longer than 72 hours. I spoke with my doctor and PEP was not adviced in this situation. Do you agree? Thanks.
Answered by Dr. Rohit Batra 2 days later

Thanks for your follow up.
Sorry for the delay in replying.

I agree with your doctor that PEP can be withheld but get yourself investigated asap.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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