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Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE
Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Welcome to the "Am I Infected?" POZ forum.

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Author Topic: One More Question  (Read 1246 times)

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Offline kaitlyngrey

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One More Question
« on: November 28, 2009, 04:38:15 PM »
About a year and a half ago, I was assisting an HIV patient who was having trouble sitting up in his bed. I wasn't wearing gloves because I wasn't doing anything clinical. To my shock, he had a skin tear on his back and his blood smeared onto the back of my hand. The skin on the back of my hand was intact. I quickly washed with hot water and soap several times. The MD on duty told me not to even worry about being tested because the chances of infection was basically nil. I let it go and forgot about it. Now, I've been sick with random things for several weeks. I had a persistant cough, then that went away. Then I had a small rash to the right breast which lasted for a week or so but cleared up on its own. Now, I have a swollen lymph node and earache/sore throat. I am worried that maybe I did get infected and it's showing up now? I'm terrified. I am 25 years old, I have small children. I have never engaged in any "dangerous" activity whatsoever. Do you think I'm overreacting? The anxiety is paralyzing. I can test on Monday if need be, which I think I will do. I am so afraid.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 04:55:50 PM by kaitlyngrey »

Offline anniebc

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Re: young mom and wife..very afraid
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 04:52:11 PM »
Hi Kait

Your MD was right there is no way you were at risk from an HIV infection...our skin is there to protect us..HIV has to get into the blood stream in order to infect....it doesn't "seep' through intact skin, you have nothing to worry about, whatever it is you are going through right now needs to be taken up with your Doctor...but rest assured it has nothing to do with HIV.

Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline kaitlyngrey

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  • Posts: 5
Re: young mom and wife..very afraid
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2009, 04:54:55 PM »
Thank you, Annie.

I am sure that people say this a lot, but I admire people in the HIV/AIDS community for their strength and their courage. May God continue to bless all of you with health and supportive friends and may we all rally together with love for a cure.

Kaity

Offline kaitlyngrey

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  • Posts: 5
One More Question
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 10:53:15 AM »
After showing my friend (I'll call her Rachel) this site and the helpful answer I received from you all, she asked me to post a question she's been worried about. Two months ago, Rachel poked herself in the finger with a straight pin that was, of all things, holding an awareness ribbon together. She doesn't know who made it or if they even got poked with it or anything. Is there any risk involved in a situation like this? She said she cleaned her hand with alcohol gel immediately afterward. Thanks for clearing this up!

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: One More Question
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 11:00:16 AM »
Kaitlyn,

I've merged your new thread into your original thread - where you should post all your additional thoughts or questions. It helps us to help you when you keep all your additional thoughts or questions in one thread. It doesn't matter how much time has past between posts or even if you're asking questions for someone else.

If you need help finding your thread when you come here, click on the "Show own posts" link under your name in the left-hand column of any forum page.

Please also read through the Welcome Thread so you can familiarize yourself with our Forum Posting Guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.




No, your friend was not at risk for hiv infection when she poked herself with a pin. Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus that is primarily transmitted during unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, where the virus never leaves the confines of the two bodies. Once hiv is outside the body, small changes in temperature, and pH and moisture levels all quickly damage the virus and render it unable to infect. For this reason, hiv is not transmitted via objects in the environment, and this includes pins.

Tell your friend that in order to avoid hiv infection, all she needs to do is to make sure condoms are being used for anal or vaginal intercourse with ANYONE. Please show her the following to read:

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL sexually transmitted infections together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex without a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline kaitlyngrey

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  • Posts: 5
Re: One More Question
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 11:06:10 AM »
Yikes! Sorry about that. I am really a good forum-user, I promise! :)
My friend and I are both married, in totally monogamous relationships, but I thank you for your reply and hope your condom info is read by someone who can utilize it.
Since HIV is as you said primarily transmitted via intercourse, etc, and small changes can affect its viability, how does it spread via needle sharing? Is that just when the blood might be "fresh?" Is it true that "micro-layers" of blood can form on the needle tips to infect later? I don't engage in that sort of thing, of course, but I work with HIV patients and would like to understand this a little more clearly.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: One More Question
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 11:22:30 AM »
Kaitlyn,

Hiv being spread during needle-sharing is totally different to being poked with a pin. For a start, needles used for injections are hollow-bore and pins are not. Blood on the outside of a pin is exposed to the environment and will not remain viable. Hiv positive blood on the inside of a hollow-bore needle will remain viable and able to infect for a short time

When an IDU injects a drug into their blood stream they first pull back on the plunger to make sure they have a vein. This pulls their blood up into the syringe, where some of it will remain after they complete the injection. If they then immediately give this syringe to their injecting partner, this second person will be injecting some of the first person's blood directly into their blood stream. If the first person is hiv positive, there is a chance that the second person will be infected. To be quite honest, this isn't even a guarantee that infection will take place. Hep C is the bigger danger when sharing injecting equipment as it is a much more infectious virus than hiv could ever hope to be.

While I appreciate that you and your friend are both in committed relationships, unless both partners have been tested for hiv, you simply cannot know either partner's hiv status. I've known many married couples who never tested before marriage and discovered years down the line that one of them - sometimes both - had been infected at some point in their lives. Anyone who has ever had unprotected intercourse in their life, without testing for hiv, has been at risk and should test for peace of mind if nothing else. It's not just promiscuous people or people who use drugs who are at risk. Despite what you may have heard about these so-called "risk groups" of certain types of people, the ONLY true risk group (sexually speaking) is that group of people who have had unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. That's a HUGE group of people.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline kaitlyngrey

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: One More Question
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 11:47:26 AM »
Great information!
I guess I should have added that in our church, full STI and genetic testing is required of both couples before marrying. :)
Thanks for your input - I never knew about the needles, etc.

 


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