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Exposure to HIV+ blood
Apr 10, 2013

My uncle was diagnosed with HIV in December 2012. On Saturday he and I attended my cousins wedding. As we were standing in line to greet the bride and groom the brides mother walked up to us and gave my uncle a hug first and then gave me a hug. As she hugged me I felt a sharp sting and said OUCH rather loudly; my uncle turned to me and said that corsage pin must have stuck you too. I looked down at her corsage and a piece of wire from the bow was sticking out then I looked down at my arm and saw a red mark with a few droplets of blood. My uncles wound on his arm looked the same as mine with a little blood. I dont know why he didn't say anything when it first occurred, because I would have been a lot more careful or my aunt could have fixed the problem. I didn't say anything else to my uncle about the situation, because after it happened he and my aunt just laughed it off, but I was panicking on the inside. I dont want my uncle to feel that Im scared to be around him, because he has enough to deal with already. To top all this worry off, Im breast feeding my 4 month old son. Ive been pumping since Saturday and letting him drink milk thats been frozen. I know I need to become more educated and I love my uncle deeply, but this just took me by such surprise. My question is could there possibly be a risk of me becoming infected with HIV since both sticks happened almost immediately and would it be OK if I start breast feeding my child again?

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi The risk of HIV transmission through this experience carries a less than 3% risk and that's from occupational exposure. Meaning, a health care provider being stuck with a needle etc.., it's just an extremely low risk. There would have to be a significant amount of blood, also your uncle hopefully is in care and on treatment, if so and the meds are working his viral load should be undetectable and that reduces the risk of HIV transmission by up to 96% through sexual contact.

So again, your risk of transmission is extremely low. Continue being kind and gentle with your uncle.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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