View Full Version : Swimming.blood & HIV

June 12th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Last night I was watching Queer as Folk. I thought first that it was neat that they actually went and got real swimmers to play the roles of high school swimmers. Then when the races began, they had the teenager who had become HIV while trying to survive hit his head on the wall. I think that the only reason they did any of the story was so that they could have some one call out the word fag, have people scream about contaminated blood & be very histerical.

So this morning, I called a friend who works in Denver with they county AIDS task force and asked if he could find any case of anyone getting HIV from blood in the water or if there had been any studies of HIV virus living in chlorinated water. It can't.

I was wondering how anyone would react if this happened in real life to them. What would you do if you were swimming in a pool and some one began to bleed badly? I'm sure I've swam with some one who is/was HIV+, afterall I've lived in our nation's capital.

June 12th, 2005, 03:12 PM
I'd be sorry the person had hurt him/herself and hope it wasn't too serious.

If I were the one bleeding, I'd be mad--as in !@#$ wall! why'd the stupid thing get in my way? @#$%! ;)

Seriously, I'm guessing ppl put more contaminants in the pool with sweat and other bodily fluids (won't even go there!) than blood, and then too there are all the contaminants in the air on the way to the pool and back home.... Life is too short to worry 'bout too much stuff....

June 13th, 2005, 12:12 PM
Most state health boards have standard 'biohazard' cleanup procedures for use at swimming pools. At the pool I swim most at, we have cuts and such every once in awhile. When it happens, the lifeguards are notified, and they respond with their standard procedure. If the blood is on the pool deck, they clean it up with paper towels to get the pooled blood into a biohazard bag, and then wash the entire area with bleech, and then hose the area with water from a hose into the drain system. If there is a blood spill in the pool, for 'standard' cuts and such, there is plenty of chlorine in the pool, such that as long as the spill site is allowed to circulate for a few minutes, everything is washed away, and certainly killed.


June 13th, 2005, 12:16 PM
I have to assume I have been swimming with people with all sorts of maladies for the past 35+ years. To date I think the only thing I've contracted is the occasional hair ball getting caught in my goggle strap. Oh, that and the raging athletes foot I can't get rid of.

June 13th, 2005, 12:18 PM
If I saw someone get really badly cut the first thing I would do would be tend to them. Being a lifeguard, even off duty, I'm sure I would get in trouble for not acting, assuming there was no other lifeguard there. Then I would probably shut down the pool and shock it (not sure what chemical it is, but you basically dump a lot of it in the pool and let it filter out for about an hour). Of course you'd have to make sure that no one comes in contact with the blood by using gloves and such. If someone did come in contact with it, assuming they didn't get the blood into a cut or something, I would say have them wash really well. If they did get it in a cut, I most likely would send them to a doctor just to be safe.

June 15th, 2005, 02:07 AM
Yay for Kyra and her lifeguard training! Now we know we're all safe......:D

As far as people reacting to HIV and other maladies, I think human nature is to be afraid of what you don't understand, or what you don't know about.

I remember once from a sixth grade health class, in 1995, my teacher said that in order to contract the HIV virus through ingestion (not through cuts or anything) of bodily fluids, like blood, you would have to drink something like two gallons of pure fluid. In a word, EW. If you're swallowing that much pool water, you've got more problems than HIV to deal with.

Minor case in point to people reacting to what they don't understand: Greg Louganis, the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. During his 9th of 11 qualifying dives, he slammed his head into the divingboard, cutting it open. The doctor who cleaned his head wound did so without gloves, and no special precautions were taken other than to clean up the blood and disinfect the pool, per standards. Then, in 1995, Greg admitted to being HIV positive during the Games, and everybody freaked out. The number of HIV tests went up 14% in the next two months, simply because most of the people who attended the diving events felt they had been at risk, when in fact, the only person who was even remotely at risk was the doctor, for not wearing gloves.

The point is, they didn't even think about it in 1988, but in 1995, it was suddenly front page news. I think if anybody bled into a pool today, they would drain the pool and scrub it down, and gloves and anti-radiation suits would come out. Okay, maybe not the suits.

Somewhere in all the madness, thank god for the voices of reason on this board. :)

Canadian Triathlete
June 15th, 2005, 03:17 AM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
I was wondering how anyone would react if this happened in real life to them. What would you do if you were swimming in a pool and some one began to bleed badly? I'm sure I've swam with some one who is/was HIV+, afterall I've lived in our nation's capital.

Hopefully they would be able to get themselves out of the pool. If not, I would get them out immediatley.

Once they were out I would treat them as needed make sure to stay away from any blood and not come in contact with any of their bodily fluids.

You definatley have to think of your own safety first, but if they are in IMMEDIATE danger of dying or drowning, I would probably take more of a risk. If they were not in immediate danger of dying I would wait until paramedics arrived.

It is totally dependant on the situation and how badly the person needs medical attention.