The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Occupational exposure

Apr 16, 2011

Hi Dr.,

I am a graduate student and on 2/16/11, I was doing an experiment in which I was working with HIV+ blood. I had processed the blood and separated out the mononuclear cells from the blood and discarded the RBCs and plasma in a 10% (or higher) bleach solution. After at least 5 minutes (probably 8-9), I discarded the bleach/plasma/blood solution down the sink drain. Unfortunately, some of this mixture splashed up out of the sink and hit my cheek where I have a bit of Rosacea/inflammation. I immediately notified my supervisor, washed my cheek, and went to the ER where I was started on PEP (PIs and NRTIs). I took the PIs for only one week (they were making me extremely ill and my doctor thought my risk was low enough to stop) and the NRTIs for the full course.

It has been almost 7 weeks and I have been having some neck pain.. particularly the sternocleidomastoid muscle and a bit of a sore throat. I have been monitoring myself for a fever (with none), and have had no real "flu-like" symptoms except the sore neck muscles. I am due for my 6-week testing tomorrow, but have really started to worry about this. I realize my risk is extremely low, but do you know of any cases like this that have resulted in transmission? This has begun to really cause me stress!

For what it's worth, it is likely that the patients VL was very high (as he hadn't been to an actual physician for 2 years!), though the exact number isn't known.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your HIV-acquisition risk is extremely remote. I would not have recommended a course of PEP for such a negligible degree of risk. Your symptoms are not worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).

Dr. Bob

jumped from plane no parachute, now confused Part 2 (INAPPROPRIATE USE OF PEP, 2011)
update test to "can a specialist be wrong" post (FALSE POSITIVE HIV TESTS, 2011)

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint