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Urgent: Possible Infection
Sep 9, 2012

Hi Shanon,

I would really appreciate your support in this issue as it's really urgent. I just got a new baby girl 2 months ago & I am afraid to infect her in any way.

I was at one of the governmental offices on Thursday to issue some papers. As I was rushing to the counter after my number had been called, my leg (below my knee) got severely piereced by the edge of one of the chairs in the hall. The chair had a "stainless steel" bar or rod below the seat which punctured my skin. 20 minutes later, after leaving that office & issuing my papers, I was able to find a near-by pharmacy. I cleaned the wound with Dettol wipes, and after I went home, I cleaned the wound with water & alcohol.

The wound was deep & it kept bleeding for over 2 hours. I am very concerned that someone infected with HIV and/or HEP C might have been punctured by the same chair stainless steel rod/bar shortly before I was injured. I read conflicting sources about the lifespan of HIV on surfaces. Some say once it hits the air, it dies, others say it's a couple of minutes, and others say it's a couple of hours. As for Hep C, there is also conflicting information. Some sources state it ranges from 16 hours to 4 days.

Could you please let me know my chances of contracting HIV and/or HEP C because of this incident?

Appreciate your prompt feedback. Thanks for your support.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi I'm sorry you had to experience this. HIV does die within minutes of leaving the body, Hepatitis though is a different story as it lives much longer after leaving the body. That all being said, the chances of HIV transmission in this manner is very very small.

I feel comfortable saying that you did not contract HIV in the manner. Of course the only true way to know is to get tested.

The guidelines for HIV testing are to be initially tested at 3 weeks then again at 3 months, if both of these tests are negative then so are you, as long as there were no other types of exposure during that 3 month period, if so then the timing starts over again.

But again, I feel comfortable saying your risk was oh so very small!

Be well, Shannon



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