Bloodborne Pathogens Transmission in Gyms

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms that can be transmitted through blood, feces, and other bodily fluids. They can cause serious illness or death if they are contracted by people who come into contact with them. In the United States, there has been a marked increase in incidents of exposure to bloodborne pathogens in athletic and gym settings over the past two decades. The rise in these incidents can be attributed in part to increased awareness of how to protect oneself from exposure and increased testing for HIV/AIDS among active athletes. 

What are bloodborne pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms that can be transmitted from person to person through the exchange of blood or other body fluids. The most common types include HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and syphilis.

Bloodborne pathogens can be found in many places: on equipment used for healthcare procedures; in the environment of healthcare facilities; and on contaminated equipment or surfaces used outside of healthcare settings. It's important to protect yourself against exposure if you're at risk of becoming infected with a bloodborne pathogen because it may cause serious illness or death if not treated properly.

How do you become exposed to them?

You can become exposed to bloodborne pathogens through the following ways:

  • Needles and other sharp instruments. Any time you come into contact with a needle that has been used on someone else, you run the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. This includes needles used in tattooing and body piercing, as well as intravenous (IV) tubing in hospitals or clinics where people are being treated for an illness or injury.

If you're cleaning up blood, wear gloves and dispose of them immediately after use. If you have a cut and are handling potentially infectious material or cleaning up after someone who has bled onto surfaces (or even just washed their hands), don't touch the cut with your bare hands. Wash your hands before and after working out, especially if they're sweaty or dirty.

Who is at risk of exposure?

In addition to healthcare workers and athletic trainers, there are several other groups who may be at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. These include:

  • Parents or caregivers of those who work in healthcare settings, like doctors and nurses. You can reduce your risk by washing your hands after handling sharp instruments (like scalpels) before holding your child's hand or feeding them food.
  • Coaches and trainers who come into contact with athletes' skin during training or competition activities such as wrestling, boxing, and weightlifting. When coaching young children, it is important that you wash up thoroughly after playing sports with them so as not to spread infections such as ringworm between each other when sharing towels during practice sessions together later down the road when they become teenagers/adults themselves later on down the road!

How do you protect yourself from exposure?

If you are exposed to a bloodborne pathogen, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with patients or students who have been diagnosed with an HBV- or HCV-related condition. PPE includes gloves, gowns and masks that cover the mouth and nose; eye protection such as goggles or glasses; shoe covers (optional); face shields (optional)
  • Practice good hygiene throughout the day by washing hands frequently with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub in between patient contacts or activities where there is potential for contact with blood/body fluids such as cleaning up spills of bodily fluids on floors/surfaces in bathrooms etc...


To reduce the risk of bloodborne pathogens in your athletic and gym environments, follow these steps:

  • Make sure everyone understands what bloodborne pathogens are and why they're important.
  • Use universal precautions when working with or around body fluids or contaminated equipment.
  • Wear gloves if you're handling potentially infectious material or cleaning up after someone who has bled onto surfaces (or even just washed their hands).


We hope that you've found this article helpful. It is important to remember that the best way to protect yourself from exposure is by taking precautions and being aware of your surroundings. If you have any questions about bloodborne pathogens or how to protect yourself from them, please contact us today!


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