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HIV timetable
Aug 29, 2007

I didn't know how to phrase my question, but I hope one of your dr's can give me a simple answer. My husband is 55 and has just tested positive for HIV. He works for the Railroad and so he is on the road and has to stay in motels several nights a week. He said that while staying in one that he dropped the TV remote and when he reached down to pick it up a syringe was there and he got stuck with it. My question is how long after this would he test positive and how long would the HIV virus live on a syringe? He became very ill the weekend of Memorial day and was sick about a month when he was tested positive. I have been tested too and am negative. I guess what I am asking, is it possible he got HIV from this syringe, or is it only possible to get from a sexual encounter. thanks....

Response from Dr. Wohl

While I try to foster keeping an open mind, I am sorry to tell you that the probability that a man would create a wild story to cover an indiscretion is far greater than the probability of an HIV infected needle being on a motel floor, pricking a guest and then infecting that guest with HIV. Call me a cynic.

Make believe there was a syringe. For HIV to be transmitted, that syringe would need to contain blood from an HIV+ person. Additionally, to infect someone else there would need to be some wet blood still in the syringe as HIV does not tolerate drying well. Of course, then a sufficient amount of infected blood would need to have been injected.

This is highly unlikely. At this point you need to do what you can to prevent becoming HIV infected from your husband.

DW



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