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Hey Doc, please respond!! please!
Oct 31, 2006

Hey Dr. Bob,

Quick question. I was with a friend of mine who is HIV+, she was trying to grab my cell to see who I was texting. While we were playfully scuffling, she scratched my hand in a few areas. One of the scratches bled. Is this a risk for transmission? I called a local clinic and they recommended nPEP, but that seemed extreme to me, what do you think?

Thank you tons, I hope you will please answer and help me decide what to do.

Thank you again Doc, take care.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your local clinic recommended nPEP because your friend scratched you??? Oh my, my, my . . . this was one of the fears in making nPEP widely available: it would be used inappropriately. I'm sure your clinic means no harm, but their advice was not only "extreme," it was wrong and potentially dangerous. PEP and nPEP are not benign treatments. They carry some degree of risk. Taking them without proper justification can lead to significant medical problems (drug toxicities and side effects). The risk of HIV transmission from being scratched is nonexistent. I'd suggest you refer your clinic to the Health and Human Services guidelines for nPEP (www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5402.pdf) and advise them you were given inaccurate advice!

Finally, just who were you "texting" by the way?

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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