AIDS and HIV Infection • Facts
How HIV is not transmitted
Family, friends and co-workers should not fear becoming infected with HIV through casual contact with an HIV-infected person at home, at work, or socially.
These activities will not transmit the virus: shaking hands, hugging or kissing, coughing or sneezing, getting a mosquito or insect bite, using a public phone, opening a door, using public swimming pools, sharing food, eating or drinking utensils, using drinking fountains, using toilets or showers.
AIDS and work
For the vast majority of occupations, the workplace does not pose a risk of acquiring HIV.
The exceptions include:
- laboratory workers,
- health care workers,
- persons dealing with hospital waste products,
- emergency medical response personnel and any other occupation where there is a possibility of exposure to blood.
Their risk is very low, but real.
Among the hazards to which these persons may be exposed are needlestick injuries and other skin-piercing accidents, and blood splashing into the eyes while they are administering treatment or otherwise performing their duties.
AIDS and sports
There are no documented cases of HIV being transmitted during participation in a sports activity.
The very low risk of transmission during sports participation would involve sports with direct body contact in which bleeding might be expected to occur. Even in such an unlikely event, risk of transmission would be very low. However, in sports involving direct body contact or combative sports where bleeding might occur, it is sensible to follow two simple procedures:
- cleanse any skin lesion with antiseptic and cover it securely; and
- if a bleeding injury occurs, interrupt participation until the bleeding has stopped and the wound has been both cleansed with antiseptic and securely covered.