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Blood splatter on uniform with HIV
Jun 3, 2003

Thank you for this forum, I am an ER nurse who drew a blood on a HIV/AIDs patient, as I was doing it some blood splattered on my uniform That I sprayed with an antiviral bug spray we use at work, but later I found out that I had a one mm cut under the area where the blood splattered. I am really scared and worried I was put on the regimen of x 3 antiviral drugs but had to stop due to N/V/D after 2 days. Am I at risk of acquiring it? HELP!

Response from Dr. Frascino


A splattering of blood onto a uniform, even with a "one millimeter cut under the area," is really not considered a significant exposure. Im quite surprised you were even advised to consider PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), let alone take it. Also, generally just 2 drugs, rather than 3, are now recommended for PEP. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms can be associated with these drugs.

Are you at risk for HIV? No, Id say your risk would be infinitesimally small (from the description you gave me). I would not have advised PEP, as the risk of PEP-induced drug side effects would outweigh potential benefits. Since this was an occupational exposure, you should complete an incident report form in the ER and follow the recommendations for routine HIV and hepatitis blood testing. You can check out the CDCs guidelines for evaluation and management of occupational exposures at

Hopefully, this should calm your fears.

Dr. Bob

You answered Anemia question but what do you do about this one?

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