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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 132
Hello, I have a question about HIV survival ability in dried blood....and eating it. I know, weird, but here goes:

I'll give some backstory to my odd question. I had a series of strange circumstances years back when I was still in college (2003? 2004?). I used the communal bathroom, washed my hands, and dried my hands using paper towels from the dispenser.

I went back to my dorm room, opened up a bag of cheese Doritos, and started eating, and managed to stab my gums with a Dorito corner (I can't be the only one this has happened to). Naturally, I end up sucking off the cheese powder off my fingers........and taste blood with the cheese.

I take a look at my hands and see red on them that I didn't see before. I went back to the towel dispenser and see red on the push handle, which I think my mind wrote off before, thinking it was some red paint or something. It's dried blood! (I don't even want to know how that got there)

So my question is this: is it possible, with this series of circumstances, to contract HIV? I know that usually saliva kills HIV....but I managed to stab my gums while eating the dried blood.

Should I just calm the heck down and stop strangely obsessing over this incident? For some reason, my mind has always been haunted by this bizarre episode. I can't recall ever having a flu episode or anything, although it's possible to have no symptoms upon infection.

What do you all think? I know this is a really weird question, but I'd love if you could help me to stop stressing about this. I end up thinking about this from time to time.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:24 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
It's incredibly unlikely that you'd get hiv from this and it's not worth any more worry. if you can't let go of it, just go and get tested!

betsy

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:06 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
I absolutely agree with Betsy! The CDC says the risk of contracting HIV from an enviromental exposure similar to what you're describing is "essentially zero." As a medical student (maybe you've finished by now, not sure) you're probably hip to the fact that viral load influences HIV transmission; with that in mind, the amount of virus present in a dried sample drops to near zero in a short amount of time.

No worries here but, as Betsy so cleverly put it, if you can't let it go then get tested to have your answer.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 132
Thanks for the replies you two.

Yes, especially since I'm a medical student I do know better---but sometimes irrationality strikes. And sometimes I'm just given to paranoia. Example: after I make a purchase, I check my credit card 10 times to make sure it's in my wallet. My mind just so (unhelpfully) supplies me with the stupidest, craziest scenarios.

Probably comes from reading too much pathology. Or that I just need some mental help.........probably the latter :P

Just for the heck of it, I am going to just go get tested on Wednesday. Not just to get my mind to let go of it, it wouldn't be bad to concretely know that I'm negative. So that I know for the future I'm clean (well, besides the HPV) going into any new relationships that I may have later.


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