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Author Topic: Please offer advice  (Read 2258 times)

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Offline girlwithquestion

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Please offer advice
« on: March 27, 2008, 09:57:38 PM »
I believe that my risk is very low, but I wanted to share the situation I was involved in and seek other opinions.  From what I have seen, this is an incredibly well educated forum and I am impressed with many of the answers that I have read.

I am currently 33 weeks pregnant (as of tomorrow).  I am a heterosexual monogamous female who has been married for almost 3 years.  My husband and I are both HIV negative.

As part of my pregnancy, I underwent glucose tolerance testing where I had a blood draw at our local Quest Diagnostics. (my question is not pertaining to that event).

Unfortunately, I failed that test (it is part of a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes).  I work with someone who is a Type-1 diabetic, and spoke at length with him regarding my test.  This individual is heterosexual and has been married to his wife for nearly 30 years.  One afternoon in my 28th week of pregnancy (5 weeks ago tomorrow), I asked if he would test my blood sugar because I was so concerned about failing my Glucose Test.  He has a type of lancet pen that is able to be "re-cocked" and used multiple times because lancets are generally for individual use. 

I cleaned my finger with alcohol prior to being "stuck", I milked out a small amount of blood from the side of my finger, and we tested my blood sugar using his glucose monitoring device.  1 hour after I ate lunch, he "restuck" my finger (this was a different finger) using the lancet (before I was stuck again, I cleaned my hands with rubbing alcohol).  I unfortunately did not see him change the lancet prior to sticking my finger either time, but I did see him change the lancet after he stuck me the 2nd time.  I jokingly asked him if he changed everything prior to sticking me, and he did say yes, and that I shouldn't be worried about any cross-contamination.  Unfortunately, when you hear stories about your governor engaging in unsafe sex with prostitutes and clinics in Nevada not having the safest needle disposal policies, your mind has a tendency to work overtime.

Needless to say, for the past 5 weeks I have been worried sick about this event.  I read the welcome page, but it basically only discussed IV drug use as a mode of transmission, nothing else.  I believe that since a lancet is not a hollow-bore needle, HIV, if it was even present in this individual would not have the opportunity to infect me because of the nature of a lancet. 
Does a lancet have any ability to hold blood on the tip, and how quickly would the outside environment destroy the virus? 
If he was HIV + and used the lancet immediately (like 2 minutes) before me, do I have any risk of transmission or exposure?  Furthermore, I know that people who "share needles" and contract HIV generally have that because they are injecting directly into veins, correct?  A finger prick and puncturing a finger doesn't create the same type of opportunity for infection as a direct IV injection into a vein, correct?  I am aware of how irresponsible this was of me, but it is tearing me apart. 

I spoke with my doctor and requested another HIV test which I would like to take either this weekend or next week.  My doctor thought that I was completely overreacting when I asked about the likelihood of transmission.  Given this type of exposure (and I know my prior HIV status is negative), can I trust a negative result at 5 weeks?  Should I wait until 6 weeks?  I am sure that my very pregnant brain is working overtime at the moment, but I question every tinge that I feel and am so nervous of having done something to hurt our baby.  I haven't had any sexual activity with my husband since this happened because I would never want to hurt him either.  I have never been concerned about an HIV test before, yet right now, I'm petrified of having one.

Any opinions or reassurances on this are greatly appreciated.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please offer advice
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 07:34:51 AM »
I won't call what you are experiencing "overreacting," since when that is happening it doesn't feel that way. But I do agree with your doctor that you are worrying needlessly. This is totally in the domain of what I call "what ifs." For whatever reasons, your mind has simply conjured a risk scenario that I don't see any reason to think actually happened.
You are by no means the first person who's worried this way, (always needlessly I might add), about whether they might somehow have gotten a contaminated needle in the setting you described.

Now that you're stirred up in this manner I suppose just for your peace of mind you'll have to get tested. And collect the inevitable negative result.

Andy Velez

Offline girlwithquestion

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Re: Please offer advice
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 02:30:00 PM »
Thank you for your reply!

If anyone else has any advice or opinions, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Offline RapidRod

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  • Posts: 15,288
Re: Please offer advice
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 03:37:25 PM »
Andy didn't advise you, so I will. It is very common for a person that is pregnant to test and get a false positive. Just so you know before you test and freak out. Do I think you were at risk, the answer is NO. Not from getting stuck from a lancet.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please offer advice
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 05:25:44 PM »
Good that you interjected that reminder, Rod.

A false positive can obviously be very scary.

And it would be a false one because you weren't at risk.
Andy Velez

Offline girlwithquestion

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  • Posts: 3
Re: Please offer advice
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 07:47:47 PM »
Thank you again, both of you for definitely calming my nerves significantly.
I am going to go get tested next week (at 6 weeks "post exposure" (even though I understand that my exposure, if any was very low risk).  While I know it's not a conclusive 12-week result, I do know that I can rely heavily on a negative at that point.

Best to both of you!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please offer advice
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 10:10:03 PM »
OK. Good luck to you. I expect you to come out of this ok. Keep us posted.

Andy Velez


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