Hello Dr. Sean or Dr. Josť
I've read through your forum and I really like it!
I did not find my question in the archives so I hope you've time to answer it.
I'm a 24 year old female doing judo and karate. During a fight my partner got accidently hurt and started bleeding. I wasn't worried because I know that there is no problem with blood on intact skin, sometimes marterial arts can cause bleedings and we've been advised that this is no risk!
But suddenly I felt a tiny droplet of blood entering my eye (it could have been also sweat but we were fighting on the floor and she was quite near above my face). The droplet was approximately as small as one single grain of sugar because it wasn't lachrymatory or caused burning or teardropping. I just felt it go in and that was it.
I don't know if she is HIV + or -. I've read something that the average risk of ocular transmission is 0.09% so about 1 in 1000. Ist this the same risk for me? Or are they talking of higher amounts of ocular blood contact like an artery splash that is completely shot into the eye?
I am sorry to take your time. But I've read conflicting information like "risk an average 0.09%" and "no risk at all because amount too small and the defense mechanism of the eye like blinking and tear fluid where HIV cannot survive in"
Coud you please clarify what it right? Which cells in the eye are transmissible for HIV? Just the conjunctiva or the sclera, too? Because the "droplet" was so small that I think nothing got really on the conjunctiva or if any it was microscopic!
I am that concerned because 2 weeks after I got herpes and a little rash :-(
Thank you very much for your post, and welcome to our forum.
Firstly I would like to say that it is highly unlikely that you could have been infected with HIV that way. In the first place, the other person had to be positive, and statistically it is more likely that she is negative, rather than positive. You do not know her status. Secondly she would need to have a high viral load for the blood to be infectious. Thirdly you would need to ahve a considerable amount of blood going into your eye, no eye secreations, and an inflammed conjunctiva to facilitate transmission. As you can see, I believe that there are more chnaces for you to be struck by lightning, than for you to get infected with HIV this way.
It is an extremely rare form of HIV transmission and very few people (usually in the health profession) have been reported as having become infected that way, because it is very difficult. Theoretically it is possible, and it would normally happen through the blood vessels of the conjunctiva, especially in the presence of inflammation, i.e. conjuntivitis.
I do not believe that you need to worry about this incident at all whatsoever.
More information here on HIV transmission risks.
Thank you Dr. Josť!
After your response I will try to forget this incident.
If I would still need a test for peace of mind I'll have a Duo Test.
I just got some shots against tetanus, diphterie, polio, hep A & B...is there any window I should consider if I still decide to get tested concerning a false positive?