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worried
May 26, 2010

hi Dr. my friend was hiv+, once day during job work a solid needle was insert in his finger. after two minuits i use this needle for attaching the two papers during this the needle also insert in my finger. my question is that what is the chances of hiv infection?

Response from Dr. McGowan

Infection with HIV after a needle stick happens about once in every 300 exposures. The risk is higher if there is visible blood on the needle, if it were a hollow bore (like a syringe) rather than a solid bore (like a suture), if the person had a high level of virus in their blood (someone not on treatment, for example). The risk can be greatly reduced (by more than 80%) by starting anti-HIV treatment as soon as possible (but no later than 48 hours) after the exposure. This will usually block any infection from getting established. The treatment should be for 28 days. You would need to also be tested for hepatitis B and C which can also be spread (at higher rates than HIV) by needle stick. It is important to take the full course of treatment get an HIV test at the start and return for HIV testing at 4-6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months after the exposure to be sure the test remains negative.

Best, Joe



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