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Q. Can I get an HIV infection through a hangnail wound?

Answered by
Dr. N. Ashok Viswanath
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 01, 2021

Hello doctor,

Yesterday I was playing air hockey with a friend, and my friend hit the puck pretty hard, and the puck came onto my finger, which had a hangnail on it. I do not know if the puck caused the hangnail, but It came pretty hard. It is approximately 1 mm, red, and not bleeding. My question is if the puck had some blood on it and caused that small hangnail, could this lead to an infection of any blood-borne diseases?

Also, my partner and I bought a home HIV testing kit from a pharmacy that has a disposable lancet to prick the finger for a blood sample. My question is if I should sterilize the lancet before pricking?

Thanks.

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern and query. Blood-borne viruses do not survive outside the human body for more than a few minutes. So do not worry about the transmission of the blood-borne pathogen this way. If any visible wound is present, I suggest you have a tetanus toxoid vaccine. I do not recommend doing HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing at home. If at all you want to do a test at home, no need to clean the lancet as it is packed and is new. There is no indication of an HIV test for you.

Take care.


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