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HIV/STD from Pelvic Exam (new mother)
Apr 21, 2012

Hi,

Yesterday I had my 6 week postpartum examination in which the midwife performed a pap smear and pelvic exam. After the pap smear, I noticed that she used her gloved fingers to open the lid to the disposal container for the speculum. She then performed the pelvic exam (with 2 fingers inside my vagina) without getting new sterile gloves. I later became worried that HIV, Hep-B or an STD could have been lurking on the outside of the disposal container, which was transferred to her gloved finger and into my vagina. I have a 6 week old infant and am breastfeeding. Should I be worried about possible transmission to me or to my baby through my breastmilk?

Thank you so much in advance for your answer-- i have been a very worried mom for the past 24 hours.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi It is highly unlikely that any type of infection occurred. If there were to and fluid containing HIV on the lid it dies within minutes of leaving the body.

There have been documentation of HIV transmission happening in the way you have described. And for future peace of mind, I would ask the healthcare professional to change gloves in between touching you if they are touching other items. But again it is highly unlikely that you contracted any type of infection.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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