Infection Control and Prevention - Other potentially infectious materials (OPIM)

Infection control principles and practices for local public health agencies


In addition to blood, the following human body materials are considered to be potentially infectious with HIV, HBV, or HCV.

  • All body fluids where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids
  • Amniotic fluid 
  • Any body fluid visibly contaminated with blood 
  • Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead)
  • Blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with bloodborne pathogens 
  • Cell, tissue, or organ cultures containing bloodborne pathogens
  • Cerebral spinal fluid 
  • Culture media or other solutions containing bloodborne pathogens 
  • Pericardial fluid 
  • Peritoneal fluid 
  • Pleural fluid 
  • Saliva in dental procedures (whether or not there is visible blood present) 
  • Semen 
  • Synovial fluid 
  • Vaginal secretions

An exposure requiring evaluation and medical attention occurs when blood or any of the above materials is involved in:

  • A puncture of the skin with a needle, lancet, or other contaminated sharp item 
  • A splash or spray or other transmission into the eyes, mouth, or nose 
  • Transmission into an open wound, an oozing lesion, or other area where there is significant breakdown of the skin


Gwen Borlaug, Infection Control Epidemiologist
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
Bureau of Communicable Diseases
Phone 608-267-7711
Fax 608-261-4976


Last Revised: December 19, 2014