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potential HIV transfer after child handling diabetic needles?
May 14, 2012

Dear Doc,

I have had HIV for 18 mths and have been on med therapy for 15 mths. I am fortunate and have responded well to the meds and UD for 14 mths. I maintain normal CD4 and % values and all other labs are normal. I am also have another chronic illness, (insulin dependant diabetes) for more than 20 years. It is also well managed with intensive daily insulin delivery therapy and blood glucose checking.

My daughter of 7 yrs was recently found to be playing with my insulin dispenser (with disposable needle attached) and blood finger pricker (with small needle attached that tests for glucose in blood). I had used both items a few hours earlier. I could not find any visible puncture marks on her hands or body but could not confidently say for sure.

I am concerned of possible HIV transfer. I am aware that HIV dies soon after leaving the body. Therefore in your opinion is there any risk of HIV transmission for my daughter if in fact she did accidently pricked herself?

Thank you

Response from Dr. Wohl

This is a tough one. I suspect that if she had cut herself you would know as most 7 year olds who get hurt let everyone within a radius of 100 feet know it. That your viral load is undetectable is reassuring as well.

To put a young child through a blood test is not so easily done. I would discuss the case with her pediatrician. Hopefully, given the details they can help guide you, but from what you write I am not too concerned.

Of course, from now on you much work hard to keep such materials away from children and to dispose of used sharps in a way where even if found they would be contained.

DW



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