Testing day approaching, but confused concerning conclusive timeframe (OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO EYE, 2011)
Jun 13, 2011
Dear Dr. Frascino, I was exposed through the eye on March 28 (the source was HIV+). Im scared as there have been documented cases of seroconversion through this route. Even with spunk, I found two of them in your archives. I had all ARS symptoms precisely within the expected timeframe. On May 6, I sustained a needlestick and received PEP for 28 days (do not know if the source was HIV+ as patient refused to get tested). Now that PEP is over, I started experiencing persistent intermittent itchy skin all over my body. My skin reacts basically with anything that touches it. I also had this during the supposed ARS rash 1 1/2 months ago. It is tough to see the specialist here every time these symptoms appear. Now the questions that haunt my mind: 1. Concerning my 1st. exposure, is the test conclusive at 3 or 6 month? I have read nothing like this in your archives (PEP after a second exposure to influence a 1st. exposure). 2. Would a 3-month test be reliable past my 1st. exposure even with PEP in between? Nobody has ever given me a clear answer here in Brazil. They do not know, perhaps. 3. Is my 9 week negative Duo test after 1st exposure encouraging despite all the ARS symptoms and itch sensation? Thanks a lot indeed! I spend my whole day waiting for your answer. God bless you!
Response from Dr. Frascino
I'm assuming you are a health care worker based on the history you provide.
HIV-diagnostic testing is really not all that complicated or confusing. Basically you need to evaluate your latest exposure. You had an occupational exposure on May 6 and took a full 28-day course of PEP. The published guidelines for post-PEP HIV testing recommend HIV-antibody tests at four-to-six weeks, three months and six months from the date of exposure. These tests would detect if you were HIV infected from any and all previous exposures. It really is just that straightforward. I'll post below links to archival posts related to eye exposure.
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