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hiv and needlestick

Nov 12, 2006

Hi Dr Bob

I'm after a bit of reassurance. This week I sustained a needlestick injury from a patient with HIV when I was anaesthetising her for a caesarean section.

It was with a 21G needle that I had been using to infiltrate local anaesthetic, and it just drew blood from my finger (through gloves).

The patient had non resistant HIV was on first line anti retrovirals and had been on IV anti retrovirals for 4 hours before the procedure. I'm not sure what her viral load was, but not low enough to have a vaginal delivery. I managed to start PEP within an hour of the injury and will be taking it for 28 days. (Thank god for ondansetron and loperamide!)

Obviously you can't tell me I'm definitely going to be ok, but I'm finding it difficult to find data on seroconversion after needlestick when PEP has been used.


Response from Dr. Frascino


The data are indeed somewhat scarce and sometimes anecdotal. Since you are obviously medically sophisticated using the generic names ondansetron and loperamide instead of the brand names Zofran and Imodium I'd recommend you download and read the Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis." It's well referenced and provides data up to 2005. It can be found at

Good luck!

Dr. Bob

Last try, you must be very busy
protected vaginal sex at Oriental spa

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