Blood & Bodily Fluid Exposures

How can exposures occur?

  • A splash to the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth
  • A splash into a wound or onto non-intact skin
  • A puncture wound or cut caused by contaminated needles, scalpels, or lancets
  • A human bite

Body fluids capable of transmitting:

  • AIDS virus (HIV)
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Blood, serum, plasma and all body fluids visibly contaminated with blood
  • Laboratory specimens, samples, or cultures that contain concentrated HIV, HBV, or HCV
  • Organ and tissue transplants (if not screened)
  • Pleural, amniotic, pericardial, peritoneal, synovial, and cerebrospinal fluids
  • Uterine or vaginal secretions, or semen (unlikely to transmit HCV)
  • Saliva (for HCV, HBV, and HIV if a bite is contaminated with blood, and for HBV if a bite is not contaminated with blood)
  • Feces, nasal secretions, sputum, tears, urine, and vomitus are not implicated in the transmission of HIV, HBV, and HCV unless visibly contaminated with blood


  • The risk of acquiring HBV from accidental exposure to a positive HBV patient is six to 30 percent
  • The risk of acquiring HCV from accidental exposure to a positive HCV patient is four to 10 percent
  • The risk of acquiring HIV from accidental exposure to a positive HIV patient is 0.36 percent