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vaginal secretions in water
Sep 11, 2011

I am a nurse at a gynocology clinic. After each exam the speculums used are put into a bucket that contains tap water and organisol. (a substance to help break down tissue) At the end of the day the speculum buckets are dumped into a sink to scrub in preparation to be autoclave sterilized. While scrubbing these speculums one evening, I had forgot to put on my goggles. While taking off my gloves that had been in the organisol water with the dirty speculums, a tiny drop of water hit my eye. This has never happened before and being in shock I finished up and drove home. I did rinse my eyes at that time. (15 min later) I had spoke with a clinician who stated my risk was really minimal, but I can't help being paranoid. Our only known hiv positive patient was seen that day.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello.

I agree with the "clinician": Your HIV-acquisition risk is so remote it's essentially nonexistent. If you remain worried, get an HIV-antibody test outside the seroconversion window. The result will undoubtedly be negative, and the primary reason to even consider testing is merely to gain psychological peace of mind.

HIV doesn't live very long outside the body. Plus, the dilutional effect of the tap water and organisol would essentially eliminate any HIV-transmission/acquisition risk from "a tiny drop of water" that hit your eye.

Dr. Bob



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