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Author Topic: healthcare exposure  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline pjwrites

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healthcare exposure
« on: October 06, 2006, 03:41:36 PM »
Hello all.
I was exposed to HIV at work. I was cut on a dental instrument. I didn't report the exposure as I was new to the field  and inexperienced. I later found out by accident the paitient was HIV +. I tested at 14 wks neg. The doctor didnt see me, his office just called the test in on Friday and called me with results on the following Tuesday. I have no idea what type of HIV test was used. Everything I have read indicates that healthcare workers who were exposed to hiv should test at 3, 6 and 12 months. My questions are:

1. Does it matter what test was used at 14 wks?
2. is the window period longer for a health care related exposure?
3. does the fact I have adult on set stills disease (an autoamune disease) affect my test results?
pj

Offline Ann

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Re: healthcare exposure
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2006, 04:36:17 PM »
PJ,

Getting cut on a dental instrument that was used on a positive patient isn't a risk for hiv infection. Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus and not one that is transmitted outside the human body in the manner you describe. Once hiv finds itself outside the body, it quickly becomes damaged and unable to infect a new host.

Hiv is primarily transmitted INSIDE the human body, as in unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. For this reason, 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 STIs together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection.

Have a look through the 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.

The healthcare situations that might need testing past the three month mark involve needle stick injury where PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) has been used. PEP extends the window period by four weeks.

Your situation does not fall into this category as you did not have a risk in the first place. You can consider your fourteen week test to be conclusive.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 pjwrites

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Re: healthcare exposure
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2006, 04:51:13 PM »
Ann thank you for your response. 

The instrument had his fresh blood on it (we were involvedin a very bloody procedure) and very quickly after using it on him I cut my hand with it leaving a bleeding opening. I washed it as soon as it happened but how is this less risk than a needle stick as needle sticks leave the infected person and travel to the other person as well? Can the HIV be damaged that quickly after leaving the body?

As far as unprotected sex goes I have only had one partner my entire life and we have been together 25 years. Unfortunately we had unprotected sex after this incident before I found out the patient was hiv pos. So now im worried for my husband also.

Offline Ann

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Re: healthcare exposure
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2006, 05:11:57 PM »
PJ,

Your risk was theoretical at best. However, your fourteen week negative result proves that you did not become infected from this incident and you do not need further testing.

The difference between your accident and a needle stick is that with needle stick, hiv is introduced directly into the body from the inside of a hollow bore needle. There is very little air contact in this type of case. Also, please keep in mind that the incidence of a person becoming infected through needle stick is very, very low, considering how many times this happens in a medical setting. Hiv needs to come into contact with a specific type of cell and these cells are not found in many places in the body.

Relax, you are hiv negative.

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 Andy Velez

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Re: healthcare exposure
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2006, 05:13:56 PM »
PJ, since  I am sure you are still fretting over this, I just want to chime in and tell you that I agree with Ann. No further testing is needed. You're HIV negative. Period.

Take a breath and get on with your life. No kidding.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline pjwrites

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Re: healthcare exposure
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2006, 05:27:05 PM »
Thank you for your reply ann and andy.
Im feeling a bit more confident about my neg result but im also worried about Hep. I did get a series of 3 hep vaccinations before I started working. I know this is an HIV forum but everything I read about hep is very confusing. if you have any info I would appreciate it. I was not tested for anything other than HIV.

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: healthcare exposure
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2006, 05:42:27 PM »
PJ,

The series of three hep jabs would be the vaccination for hep B and you should not have to worry about hep B as long as you were given follow up testing to ensure you have achieved immunity against hep B (ie the jabs worked as they should).

Hep C is another matter and you might want to test for this for peace of mind. There is no vaccine for hep C and it is more infectious and more easily transmitted in a blood to blood situation than hiv. Please talk to your doctor about this. 

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 pjwrites

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: healthcare exposure
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2006, 11:36:46 PM »
Thank you Ann
I was never told I needed a test to ensure that I achieved immunity against hep B. So I'm at no risk for contracting HIV from this incident but I am at risk of hep B or c. Now im feeling sick again.

 


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