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Universal Body Fluid Precautions

To help prevent HIV and Hepatitis B or C transmission, use the following universal body fluid precautions when you come into contact with any body fluids or fecal matter:

  • Use Condoms - HIV can live in human ejaculate and pre-cum.  Condoms act as a barrier and contain the spread of bodily fluids.
  • Cover cuts - If you have cuts or open sores on your skin, cover them with a plastic bandage. 
  • Wash hands - Wash hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds after contact with blood or other body fluids and after removing latex gloves.  Use hand lotion to help keep your hands from becoming chapped or irritated.  Intact skin is your first defense against infection.
  • Discard garbage - Use caution when disposing of garbage and other waste that may contain infected materials or used needles.  Discard material soiled with blood or other body fluids in a sealed plastic bag.  Use boxes that are puncture resistant and can be incinerated for the disposal of all sharp objects.  Never put the cap back on a needle.
  • Wear gloves - If there is any risk of coming into contact with blood or other body fluids, wear latex gloves.  Gloves should only be worn once and disposed of in a plastic garbage bag.
  • Clean up - Spills of blood or other body fluids should be cleaned up with a fresh mixture of household bleach (1 part) and water (9 parts).  Remember to wear latex gloves during clean up.

In order to be safe and not discriminate, assume that everyone is infectious.  Use universal body fluid precautions all the time, every time, not just with individuals you know to be positive.

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