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Hiv Needle stick at work

Jan 19, 2009

Hello Dr.Young. I had a needle stick this am from a known HIV/AIDS pt while doing a PICC line draw. I'm not sure of his current viral load status though from chart he was undetectable 6mos ago.It was a smaller bore needle maybe 25-27 gauge and I got hit in the bottom of my index finger.I did manage to bleed out a bit. In the ER they started me on Truvada only- should I insist on adding another drug? I am going to follow up with our employee health department on Monday as this is what I was told to do. Thank you

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your post.

For lower-risk exposures, two-drug therapy is still often used. Your exposure would probably fall into this category, since the needle wasn't used to directly cannulate the blood vessel, was not a deep wound (to you) and perhaps, the patient had a low, if undetectable viral load.

However, it would be very important to know exactly what medications and drug resistance history the patient had (if possible), since it would make no sense, whatsoever to take a PEP medication that the patient was resistant to.

If the patient had a prior history of drug resistance, or frankly, in general, I usually recommend three drug treatment for PEP.

I hope this helps and wish you well,


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