Dec 14, 2009
Hi Dr. Bob,
I recently had the swine flu vaccine. I asked the nurse's assistant if she was using a new needle, since I am worried about used needles being used. I was just trying to ease my mind. Well she said that she "just changed it." I hope she meant that she just used a new one, for me. I am so paranoid about this. I almost went to the ER for PEP. Do I sound crazy? I am pregnant and just so protective of my baby. Should I get tested? Also, if I was tested would I get a false result because of the vaccine? If the test is taken a couple of months after the vaccine is administered, will that negate the false result possibility? Thanks for your time and help, you are amazing. I hope you are doing well and hope you had a nice holiday.
Response from Dr. Frascino
You wonder if you "sound crazy," because you considered going to the ER for PEP, because you're worried that the nurse assistant who gave you your H1N1 vaccine might have jabbed you with a used needle, even though you asked her if the needle was used and she told you she "just changed it"???? Yep! Absolutely looney tunes!
Should you get HIV tested? Absolutely not! There is absolutely no medical justification for even considering HIV testing. Plus, you have at least two potential reasons for registering "false positive." Both pregnancy and flu vaccines can cause nonspecific cross-reacting antibodies that can, in some instances, cause false-positive or indeterminate HIV tests.
If your fears continue, you should consider psychotherapy (counseling) to help you confront your completely unwarranted and totally irrational fears of being HIV infected.
Being protective of your baby is fine and perfectly understandable; however, being a nutty mom with anxiety and irrational fears is not healthy for you or for your bun in the oven!
Happy , healthy Holidays!
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