HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Need Help!!!!!

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I know a friend who is performing volunteering work in a clinic in San Isabel, Guatemala. Recently, he has just had a 'little' accident when suturing a laceration for a man. He stuck the needle that had gone through the skin of the man into his thumb and caused bleeding. Later he learned that this man was a homosexual. Right on the day of the possible infection, he started a flu with high fever, diarrhoea, sore throat, vomitting and other common symptoms of a flu. Now it's been a few days, but he still has a low-grade fever with weakness, tiredness and headache. The thumb that had been stuck is still very painful and is infected. He and I are extremely worried about the possibility of him being infected with HIV, because there is a high percentage of unprotected sex and HIV infection in Guatemala.

Could any one help me? Is he at a high risk of being infected with HIV?

Symptoms of HIV do not come on that fast. If he cleaned his wound, I don't see any risk for HIV from the suturing incident.


For a start, would you be as worried if this person wasn't gay? You need to know that one does not have to be gay to have hiv and it is insulting to suggest otherwise.

Symptoms or the lack of symptoms mean nothing when it comes to hiv infection. If they happen at all, they happen between two and four weeks after infection has taken place, not the same day.

As this accident happened while suturing, it is unlikely that hiv transmission occurred as the needle used for suturing is not hollow-bore. However, it would be prudent for your friend to be tested for hiv and hepatitis as well. Hepatitis B or C infection is more likely under these circumstances.

The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks so a negative test result at this point is an excellent indication that transmission has not occurred. A negative result at six weeks must be confirmed at the 12-13 week point.

If your friend is performing laceration suturing on people, then he must have a qualified medical background and should know these things. Why is it that he doesn't?


Thank you, Ann.

Actually I do not know much about his medical background. All I know is that he is an undergraduate student and is assisting in a christian mission clinic. It is a volunteered work, and there are several other assistants working there under the lead of two doctors. We both have thought that HIV symptoms don't come so fast, but he is still concerned about the possibility for HIV infection.


He should report this incident to the doctor in charge of the clinic and let them take it from there. He should have done this immediately.



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