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Should I put my daughter on the PEP medicine?

Aug 1, 2011

My daughter is 6 yrs. old. I was sitting outside with my 3 children, yesterday evening & as I was talking to a neighbor (we live in an apt. complex) my daughter went into a bush about 10 feet away. She found a diabetic needle &, not realizing what it was, pulled the cap off. When she saw it was a needle, she put the cap on & the needle bent, going through the side of the cap & poked her finger. She then squeezed the blood out, as kids often do, She showed my other daughter, who immediately brought it to me. I took her inside and washed the small puncture area with alcohol & then peroxide. And then took her straight to the emergency room. When I took her there, they did not even wash the area & dismissed us, telling us to go the health dept. on Monday. When we came home, the neighbor looked into the bush with a flashlight & found another needle & a spoon. I called 911. The police came & took everything for evidence. I have been researching the entire day (my mind is wandering with worst case scenarios) & it seems that the PEP medicine is very extreme. Just not sure if they offer it to me tomorrow, if I should take the risk of putting my daughter on them. I am just very torn. I was wondering if it is possible to get your opinion on the situation. Thank you very much, in advance.

Response from Dr. Frascino


The HIV-acquisition risk for the incident you describe is extremely remote. I would not recommend PEP for your daughter. If you remain concerned, consider having her get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The primary reason for doing so would be to gain psychological peace of mind.

Dr. Bob

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