HIV question

  1. Hi
    I can't believe I am posting this.

    So here I am at 1 am, after getting near no sleep for a few days, and am alone, and a little depressed (nothing serious, just a funk)

    So, my mind wanders, (why I have no idea) to a client I had a couple years ago ( I am a massage therapist) who had a pimple pop. gross, yes. I avoided the area, but I think i remember one of my fingers touching the tiny bit of blood that was there.

    Please don't think me foolish, I was new to the field, and although i remember it, I know I didn't think it was a big deal at the time. Just, I think lack of sleep has led me to think worst case senerio, that maybe i had a raw spot around my thumbs (nervous habit) Now, I haven't started nursing school yet, and I didn't find anything real online, and now I am thinking i need to get tested. Am I completely nuts, or is there a tiny chance of transmission?

    again, I can't believe I am posting this, just a thought that popped into my head, and has now consumed my thoughts.

    toni
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   krispynurse
    Toni,
    If your that worried about HIV transmission go and get tested. Yes HIV is transmitted by bodily fluids --- there is some differences in opinion about saliva ---- but blood and semen are 2 of those fluids that can transmit the virus and it can be infected into an open area on your body, even a hangnail area. Chances are you are over reacting but if you are that worried go to the doctor or clinic and get tested. Nowadays it doesn't take forever to get your results back and they are kept in confident. Quit losing sleep and just go do it. You know maybe even massage therapists should use the universal precautions rule and use gloves.
  4. by   sjoe
    "Chances are you are over reacting but if you are that worried go to the doctor or clinic and get tested."

    Or get a self-test kit at your local pharmacy and use it. A no-brainer.
  5. by   NICU_Nurse
    Don't be embarrassed about asking those types of questions, first of all!

    You didn't say whether or not you knew that the client had HIV? I don't know if that's info that you're privy to as a massage therapist, but either way, if you're questioning your own status, it is very easy to be tested. As SJoe mentioned, there are home kits available at the drugstore, or you can contact your local AIDS task force, where they will probably test you for free. In this area, the task force offers free, anonymous testing (you're assigned a number when you call to make the appointment) with oral swabs and/or blood draws.

    If the patient did have HIV, it is technically possible for you to have gotten it from that blood if the blood was wet or fresh and if you had open hangnails or ripped cuticles or cuts on your fingertips where you rubbed over it. It sounds unlikely, considering your description of the situation, but really, there's no sense in worrying or fretting about it when you could simply go ahead and get tested and find out for sure, right?

    I hope this isn't the reason you haven't slept for a few days! Make the appointment and get yourself some rest!

    And...now you know that it *is* possible for transmission to occur, though probably highly unlikely, so you should start practicing stringent infection control techniques with your clients if you aren't already! And take care of your skin- it's your number one barrier!! Good luck. ;>)
  6. by   katgurl77
    this isn't the reason I haven't slept, but the worry was born out of it, too much time to think, and being very exhausted, and prone to anxiety in the first place....
    thank you all for your replys. I made an appointment for anon test, and i called the cdc hotline and she put me at ease. I don't think i had direct contact with my hangnail, as a matter of fact i am almost positive, and I am unsure of the hiv status of the person. considering the situation after getting a little bit o'sleep I know I'd be the first personal care worker (masseuse, esticitian, etc.) in the USA to get it, but that doesn't mean I can't.

    I am embarrassed I dumped this all last night, I have made an appointment with a psychologist as well, as added stress has added greatly to the anxiety i already am prone to. Not to diminsh the fact that we should always be extra careful, and I am getting tested, but I really think i was not in a right frame of mind.
    thank you for listening.
  7. by   Cynthiann
    That's good that you went ahead and made an appointment. It's so easy to think of different things when you are just lying in bed.

    I just wanted to add one comment to the whole HIV/AIDS situation. If you've had sex since you were last tested or never been tested, you need to take a test anyways. With our world today it's better to be safe than sorry.
  8. by   glow_worm
    The viral load was probably incredibly tiny, making it statistically improbable that you contracted the virus. Additionally, it's doubtful that virus *if it was even present* had access to your bloodstream by touching your fingertip.

    That anxiety of yours is more likely to kill you than a chance encounter with an HIV infected customer's zit. Don't worry so much. Take a test to ease your fears, and then let it go.

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