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needle pricks in hospitals
Aug 16, 2000

What are the chances of getting infected with HIV from a needle prick after injecting an HIV positive patient? What should one do after such an incident?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

The chances are very low but are not zero. The risk increases if the needle had visible blood, was a hollow core needle rather than a solid one, and if the needle stick resulted in deep penetration. As soon as possible after the exposure you should be tested for HIV and hepatitis B & C, and then you should be retested at appropriate intervals. Combination medicines for HIV can be given, but are probably most useful if begun soon after the exposure.


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