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HomeAnswersHIV/AIDS specialisthiv risk factorsCan HIV be transmitted through open wounds?

I had a small wound on my nail and I fingered a girl. Do I have any risk of getting HIV?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 28, 2021
Reviewed AtAugust 10, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I had a small fresh peeling and there was slight bleeding from my nail as I do bite my fingers from time to time, and I fingered a girl who had an orgasm on my finger. Do I have any risk of getting HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) from her? I do not know if her HIV status is positive or negative?

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern.

There are chances of transmission of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) from the given description (if the wound is open). If she is positive, consult your doctor for risk assessment and management.

Do get back if you have any further queries.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I asked a couple of doctors, and they told me that there is no risk at all, as long as the cut is not one inch or more. As you can see in the picture where I have marked the biting, it is in that part of the nail where there is small fresh peeling, and the blood may have been dry or maybe not. I do not remember, but I would have done fingering for two to three minutes in her vagina. Do I have any risk of getting HIV from her? Please help.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Glad to have you back.

From the picture (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), the wound appears to be dry now. If so, the chances of transmission of HIV are almost nil. If it was a fresh wound at the time of contact, and if the wound had come in contact with the infected secretions, then there are chances of transmission of HIV. HIV is a nano-meter size virus, and the exposure time was for about two to three minutes, so there is a minor possibility of getting infected with HIV if, she is positive. If she is negative, then there is no chance.

I hope I have clarified your queries. Do get back if you have any further queries.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Yes, it is dry now, but at that time, I do not remember if it was dry or not. I am confused now as you say it is possible while other doctors are saying it is not possible. Kindly help.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The chances of transmission by such acts will be very low, but it is possible if it was an open wound. If she is positive, then I suggest you do the following tests otherwise, you can forget the episode.

  1. HIV 1 and 2 RNA (ribonucleic acid) PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests after 12 to 14 days of exposure.
  2. HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure to be completely relieved of anxiety.

I hope you got answers to all the queries that you had.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I just found a picture similar to my case. Even after 18 days now, no symptoms occurred, so do you think I need to test? I was going to do a test after 21 days. Please let me know.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the follow-up query.

Many can remain asymptomatic or without symptoms. These pictures shown (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity) and your scenario is quite similar. The chances are low but possible. To be on safer side, and to be relieved of anxiety, better go for tests as suggested. Anyway, you are already anxious and will continue to be so. So one-way to get rid of anxiety is getting the tests done. Negative results at an appropriate time will relieve your anxiety totally.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Yes, I am already anxious about it. I will take the combo HIV test 4th generation after 21 days of exposure, and I will wait till next week. It will be a total of 22 days, and then I will do the test.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Go for this test after one month or after 28 days of exposure. Then again, go for this test after three months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety totally.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I did the test, and the doctor said that it will appear within one to six weeks, and I am already on the 17 or 18th day. What should I do? Kindly help.

Thank you.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

It is HIV p24 antigen, which will include HIV antibodies. Anyway, go through this test. It is most likely to be negative. Anyway, do the HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure to totally get relieved of anxiety.

I wish you good luck.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Why did the doctor say the result would be accurate as it has been 17 or 18 days? I checked the internet, and it showed me that this test could be taken after the first week to eight weeks of exposure. In my case, I am entering the third week.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

P24 antigen can be detected as early as after one week to eight weeks of exposure. But negative results will not rule out HIV during this period. So anyway, go for this now. It will help you to relieve your anxiety during this period. Later, an HIV antibody test taken after three months of exposure will finally rule out HIV.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Actually, I saw a dermatologist, and he told me that it is impossible to have HIV. He checked my fingers and told me there is nothing to worry about as there is no sign of any infections on my fingers, but still, I did the test, and I should wait for the result till next week.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

Good to hear that. You can take the tests without worries. Anyway, you are going to take the test to be relieved of your anxiety. You will be relieved of your anxiety if you go through the tests.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for making me feel much better after knowing this.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You are welcome. Good wishes for your test results.

I wish you safe and good health.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I just want to tell you that I remembered yesterday that the peeling in my finger happened three days before the incident. So, I think till that day it would have been three days of wound closure.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

Probably by then, the scab would have been formed. Anyway, do not worry about these as you are going for the tests. Relax and go ahead with the tests as planned.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I did the test on the 18th day after my last exposure. So, I counted the days after that and did the test on the correct day, and my result was negative as you can see in the attached picture. The laboratory guy told me that there is no need to take another test and that I can continue my life in peace. I feel much better now but I still have some anxiety as I read that it might not be accurate. Kindly help.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Glad to have you back.

It is good that the HIV 4th generation test was negative. As suggested, you can now go for HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety totally.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I also took one test on the 17th day (before one day). If this is also negative, then it would be a total of two tests. According to the scenario that I mentioned before, do you think I need to go for another test as it was already a low risk.I was thinking to take another one after 28 days, but I do not know what to do since the laboratory guy told me that there is no need for another test since the result will be accurate after two weeks and my test was taken after 18 days. Kindly advise.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

There is no need to take the tests on consecutive days and even after 28 days. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later is almost nil. Just go for HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure. That is enough.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I got your point. I just cannot wait for three months as I want to clear my mind from this matter. That is why I asked whether antibodies and antigen test taken after 28 days is enough.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

With the given risk exposure that should be enough. However, with your anxiety, doing a three-month post exposure test would be good and conclusive.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I will go for the 28 days test. Since my mentioned scenario is low risk, I hope the result will be negative. After that, if I have no symptoms and anxiety, then I shall not do the test after three months of exposure since all the doctors whom I consulted told that I have no risk. Even after this, if I still have any anxiety, then I will go for the three-monthtest.

Thank you.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

There is nothing to worry.

I wish you safe and good health.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have a question. In my first negative test, my number was 0.17. I will be taking my second test after three days and let us say that it is negative with 0.33 or 0.5 (but still negative) as it is bellow 1. Does this mean that I might be in risk when I do the third test and is there a possibility that by this time the number would have got higher? Please help.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query. Titres less than the recommended values imply negative results. You need not worry about the minor increase or decrease of values. If it is within the normal range, it is enough. There may be slight variations due to tests, lab, etc.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Hope you are doing good. I just want to tell you that I did the test after 29 days and it was non-reactive.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the follow up query. It is good that the HIV antibodies test is negative after 29 days. Please relax now. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later is almost nil. But better go for three months post exposure test which will relieve your anxiety totally.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I feel much better. Also, I took the Oxford vaccine AstraZeneca for COVID-19. I think if I had the virus, it would have affected me more, but I am thankful that the side effects were minimal and lasted for just 24 hours when compared to other people. I just had some body pain after the vaccination and nothing else. I will not have any more anxiety.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Good that you have taken the COVID vaccine. Please relax.

I wish you safe and good health.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I want to ask you whether the corona vaccine could affect the result of the HIV fourth-generation test. I took the test again today after 43 days and the result was negative. I wonder if the corona vaccine may have affected the result. Is it possible? Please let me know.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

It is good that the HIV test is negative as expected. The HIV antibodies test is not affected by the corona vaccination. Do not worry.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

hello doctor,

I did the HIV p24 antigen and total antibodies test as you can find in the attached picture. I did it after 43 days which is after six weeks of exposure to ensure that all is good. Thank you for the assistance.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

Yes. As expected, it is negative. You can go for HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure to be totally relived of anxiety.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

hello doctor,

I did another test on the 47th day after exposure and it was negative. I smoked a cigarette two days back that caused me throat pain. I did the test when I had the pain and it was negative but today,I feel like I have flu as I have runny nose since yesterday. I feel like my nose is blocked and I feel sick. Is it possible that it might be some of the symptoms of HIV or is it due the effect of the cigarette since it was of a poor quality. I know that the results of the test taken after 47 days should be conclusive and even the doctor who took my sample said that I would be negative since he knows that I have done the test on 18, 28, and 43 days.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the follow up query. Do not relate each and every symptom to HIV. It may be due to the incident or respiratory contact with any person. You can consult your doctor for those symptoms if it persists. It is good that your tests are repeatedly negative. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later is almost nil. Anyway do not do it repeatedly. Just go for it after three months of exposure and be done with it.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

hello doctor,

So,I have nothing to worry about, right as all my tests are negative?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the follow up query. Yes, there is no need to worry. Go for final conclusive test after three months of exposure.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Hope you are doing good. I want to ask you with tomorrow I will cross 85 days which means that it would be12 weeks and one day after my exposure. Is it fine to repeat the test at 12 weeks or should I wait for 90 days since I read that 12 weeks, 84 days, or 90 days are the same. Also, I took a test after eight weeks on the 58th day after my exposure and it was negative. Please let me know if 85 and 90 days are the same so that I could retake the test.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query. Though both are similar, and you have already done the test after 58 days, I suggest you do the tests after 90 days. It is going to be negative, so do it after 90 days.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am not able to wait for 90 days. What to do? Please help.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

It is fine even if you do the tests since it will be conclusive.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra
Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Dermatology

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