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Risk of exposure to HIV from brownish sticky substance.

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Yesterday I was at the grocery store when I grabbed the end of the shopping cart to load groceries into my car. I got a sticky, brownish substance on my hand. It was difficult to wash off, even with water. I am concerned that the substance was blood. If so, do I have any risk of exposure to HIV or Hep C if the blood contained those pathogens? Roughly 30 seconds passed between checking out and when I touched the substance on the cart. Is HIV or Hep C transmissable if it is exposed to air for only a few seconds? Thanks in advance.

Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 27 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
I understand your concern.
Please do not worry. Viral infections can't be spread that way, and moreover no virus survives outside the human body for more than 30 seconds to 1 minute. So, that brownish substance does not pose any threat.
Please feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

Thank you for your response.
Is there any risk if I touched the substance less than 30 seconds after it got on the shopping cart?

No, there is really no risk here.
You can completely relax.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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