Burn Transmission?

Originally Posted: 
Saturday, April 14, 2012
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I was burned with a cigarette accidentally and the person who did it, trying to be nice, wiped the burn area with his hand touching my open skin. Is it possible that HIV may have been transmitted this way if there was blood on his hand? Also, he said he burned himself prior to that on his own hand, if his burn touched mine is there a risk of transmission?


Hello and thanks for using AIDS Vancouver as your source for HIV/AIDS related information.

HIV can only be passed when the body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk) of a person living with HIV gain direct access to the bloodstream (through the vagina, anus, points of needle injection, and, in theory, open cuts and sores). HIV can be spread through activities such as unprotected sex, needle sharing, and from mother to child. Having two small burns possibly touch does not meet the criteria for HIV transmission. The HIV virus actually dies quite quickly when it is exposed so air, so you would both need to have fresh, actively bleeding wounds in order for this occur. I have not heard of any case where HIV transmission has occurred in the manner that you described. However, if you are sexually active you may want to get tested for your own peace of mind. If you would like more information on HIV testing and locations in the Vancouver area please see the following link.


In Health,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
E-mail: helpline@aidsvancouver.org
Phone (Mon-Fri 9-4pm): (604) 696-4666
Web: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline

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The AIDS Vancouver Helpline is a volunteer-driven information, referral and support service related to HIV and sexual health. Volunteers are trained in active listening, HIV and sexual health information, and local resources and services. Volunteers are not doctors, nurses, or other licensed professionals. Volunteers do not give advice, and strive to provide service-users with adequate information and appropriate referrals.

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