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Worried doctors wife
Jul 23, 2006

My husband was accidently stuck in the arm by a tech with an HIV infected needle during a surgical procedure. The needle was a hollow needle. He consulted specialist and was given Kaletra and Combivir, which have already started causing side effects.

1. What, in your opinion, are the odds he will actually get HIV from this. 2. In the meantime, while we wait on confirmation, what precautions do we need to take? Sex or no sex, etc

Thanks, worried wife

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

1. Without additional details such as how significant the stick was, viral load of the source patient, how soon your husband started PEP, etc. it's difficult for me to comment. The HIV specialist who evaluated him and prescribed his post-exposure prophylaxis would be able to give you a better estimate of his HIV risk than I. What I can tell you is that the average risk for HIV transmission after a percutaneous exposure to HIV-infected blood is estimated to be approximately 0.3% (95% confidence interval).

2. Use latex condoms and water-based lubricant for sex. (You should take the same precautions as magnetic couples one positive, one negative. You can read about this in the archives.)

The odds remain very favorable that your husband will not acquire HIV from this occupational exposure. However, follow-up testing and completing a full 28-day course of PEP is indeed recommended. If his PEP regimen is bothering him, he should discuss this with the HIV specialist. You could go along to that visit and review any other questions you might have related to prevention.

Good luck to you both.

Dr. Bob



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