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Old January 4, 1999, 08:20 PM   #6
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"am I at risk for catching AIDS through checking ID's or touching someones arm?"- no. I suppose one could come up with a theoretical scenario where you "could", but the odds are exceedingly small.
Think about this-
if you get stuck with an HIV infected hollow needle through a glove the odds of catching HIV are 1/250. The odds from a fluid splash to mucus membraes is much much smaller than this. There have been no cases of trasmission from closed mouth kissing and only one case from open mouth or "french" kissing(an addicts gums are very unappealing).
There have only been 5 documented cases of transmission from a blood(or other fluid) splash to the mucus membranes(eyes and nose) or skin.
In the realm of infectious disease it is a very wimpy virus. You will not get HIV from casual contact.

Of course with this said there is the single unexplainable case of the dentist spreading the virus to patients.

Some reasonable precautions to take would be to wear(or have) some thin leather gloves. I take it you are a "bouncer" and would think your highest risk(albeit small) would be from punching someone in the mouth and recieving a laceration from a tooth. That is to say as long as you are not dating the customers- JUST KIDDING! Sorry, couldn't resist. Not that there's anything wrong with that(seinfeld). If you wear glasses then ok, but as you are not around splurting body fluids this may be diminishing returns-you decide. You might want to carry a pair and wear them if things get dicey(people spit). Also- do not wear latex gloves as these will tear on teeth, chins, etc very easily.

By the by, HIV is present(diminishing amounts I believe) in blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, saliva and tears. It is not found in sweat or feces. Also there have been no documented cases of transmission by insects.

Jeff- very good point about the Hep B vaccination. You are more likely to die from an exposure to Hep B than HIV. Really. It is much more transmissable than HIV and 2-3% of people die from contracting this disease. The vaccination schedule is 3 shots over 6mos. however and make sure you get a test that shows seroconversion(whether the shots took). Up to 10% of people are not "immune" after the series and have to repeat it at least once more.
But don't take my word for it. Look up, it's a good place to start for infectious type enlightenment.

but for the grace of God go I,


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