Q. Can I get HIV if I got a cut on my finger from someone's broken phone screen?

Answered by
Dr. Kakkar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Hello doctor,

I was using my driver's mobile phone and his screen was totally broken and after a few minutes, I noticed that I had a cut on my finger. If there was blood already on the screen and if I got a cut and there was a little bleeding on my finger then can I get HIV in this situation? Should I get tested?

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Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have noted your concern.

There is no risk of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Firstly, the virus does not survive outside the body for more than a few seconds and dies quickly on drying.

Moreover, a minor cut does not provide direct access for the virus into the blood. It has to be a fresh deep actively bleeding wound for the virus to gain access to the bloodstream.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

Even if there were some blood or semen stains on the phone screen and I got a cut and there was some bleeding from my finger then also is there no chance at all that I could get HIV?

Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The HIV virus cannot survive in dried blood or semen. So the stains are not infectious.

Regards.

For further queries consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

You said dried blood. What if there was wet blood on the screen? Because it was dark and I do not know. Please help.

Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Even if we assume that there was some fresh blood on the phone then also there is no risk because a minor cut on your finger would not provide access to the virus into the bloodstream. It has to be a deep, fresh, actively bleeding wound such as a laceration for the virus to get access to the bloodstream.

To be doubly sure you can ask your driver if he has sustained any fresh bleeding wound that you think might have contaminated the phone.

Regards.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

I asked him. The driver said that he got some cuts a few days ago. Also, I would like to tell you that I become very paranoid when it comes to HIV. Are you sure I am at no risk here at all? Do I need testing?

Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

There is no risk.

Your driver said that he got cut on his finger 'a few days ago'. So, that means his wound was not bleeding when you used his phone and the virus would not have survived on his phone from a few days after he sustained the wound on fingers.

I do not think that you should worry about HIV. Regards.

For further queries consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

Also, after I came home I used spirit to clean the cut. It burnt a little. Does the burning state that the wound was deep?

Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

No. Burning sensation to spirit can be felt in a very superficial wound as well.

Regards.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

So, I should not worry at all about HIV in this situation right? No need for testing?

Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I do not think there is any need for testing in the scenario you mentioned. Let me know if you have any more doubts or skin related concerns.

For further queries consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Hello doctor,

So one last question. What if there was wet blood on the screen and I got a cut and there was some bleeding and let us say very little blood of his entered through my small cut? But you said that the cut should be big and very deep right? How long can HIV virus survive in wet blood outside the body?

Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

If fresh contaminated blood enters the bloodstream then definitely it is considered HIV infection. However, this usually does not happen because it is a rare scenario that a profusely bleeding HIV positive person's blood would come in contact with a deep, fresh, bleeding wound of a healthy person. A small bleeding cut does not provide direct access because the bleeding capillaries constrict as soon as they were traumatized.

Moreover, the blood is flowing out of the vessel. So, unless it is a large bleeding wound and fairly large contamination occurs with the virus infected blood, the virus cannot get into the bloodstream.

The virus does not survive more than a few seconds and certainly not in dried blood. It dies on exposure to air.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

How long does it take for wet blood to dry in outside environment or room temperature? Approximately?

Dr. Kakkar

MBBS., MD
Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Venereology

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It depends on the amount of blood. It might take 10 to 15 minutes for a few drops to dry. However, the virus dies sooner than that outside the body. It dies quickly on exposure to air. Regards.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

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