ZocdocAnswersIs HIV easier to catch from blood or other fluids?

Question

Is HIV easier to catch from blood or other fluids?

Is it easier to catch HIV from blood or from other fluids like semen? I have an HIV positive partner, and we always use protection, but I do believe I was exposed to some of his blood last month. What are the chances that I am now positive?

Answer

Any time you think that you may have been exposed to HIV, you should contact your physician right away. In this case, it is probably okay for you to see a primary care physician such as a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. For HIV transmission to occur the HIV infected person's blood or semen must come into contact with the HIV negative person's open tissues, rectal, or oral surfaces. Thus, it is not important whether you came into contact with his semen or blood, it is important where his blood came into contact with you. If you got some of his blood on your skin, the risk of transmission is possible but probably low (unless you had a cut, abrasion, or ulcer on the skin that came into contact with the blood). Sometimes these breaks in the skin can be quite small and sometimes go unnoticed. It is also important how well his HIV infection is controlled with medications. A person with very low HIV levels in the blood is less likely to transmit it to another person. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a history of your recent symptoms and perform a physical exam. You may warrant getting the HIV test in a couple months.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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