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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Please, confused and worried.
Apr 21, 2009

Dear Dr,

I've written in many times but none of my entries have been replied. I've checked ther archives too, but there doesn't seem to be any similar cases. I hope you could advise me on my situation and my risk level, that would be much appreciated.

My question is as follows:

I think I may have been exposed to Hepatitis/HIV through blood-to-blood, cut-to-cut contact.

Went to the college canteen and bought a meal yesterday. The vendor had a plaster around her finger and when making payment my finger touched that general area briefly, I felt something wet. I didn't think anything of it then, but soon dried my finger on my shirt. Three things that made me consider exposure:

1. I had an insect bite in the area of contact, but i don't think I had scratched it to the point of bleeding. Later at night, I noticed what seemed to be a cut in the general area of my cuticle. Not sure if my finger was bleeding at the time of contact.

2. Shortly after the purchase, I believe I saw some redness in that area, could it be blood? I did not inspect that area closely.

3. But the vendor went back to handling/cutting some vegetables almost immediately after that.

Realistically speaking, would you agree that the vendor would have had to be bleeding quite severely to transfer a significant amount of blood (as described above)? Yet the circumstances do not seem to match the scenario of the person having been actively bleeding. (Handling food with an open wound, already having put on a plaster in the general area.) I'm quite confused as to whether this constitutes an exposure or not. Several days later, I started to experience mild abdominal discomfort/slight pain, in the upper region. I'm worried this may be related to Hepatitis.

Three questions: 1. Am I at risk for infection by EITHER of the above two diseases? 2. Should I get tested? 3. Could this be related to either disease?

Thank you in advance.

Worried College Student

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would not advise testing.

Hep B test results...need explaining
hepa b carrier

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