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CSF Exposure and pen
Jul 29, 2013

Hey, Im a med student n i was helping my resident with an LP and some CSF of an HIV+ patient got on my gloves, after which i touched my pen and then realized and put it down. i took off my gloves, washed my hands with soap and water and then washed the pen and alcohol rubbed both, however i didnt clean a part of the pen i may have touched when the gloves were on (ie the capped part). about 20 mins later i was in a class and took out my pen to write, realized and washed and alcohol rubbed everything again. after which, i felt a tinyyy burn with the alcohol rub on my wrist- there was like a 2 mm skin peel- so was just a bit worried. help please! :(

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hi there Hello there I would rest assured that you can not get HIV from touching an inanimate object such as the pen you describe. Transmission of HIV from a contaminated surface would require massive exposure to blood or other infected liquid from prolonged period of time. HIV is a fragile virus, and breaks down quickly, if not in the right conditions. It can ONLY infect you if it enters your bloodstream, through an open wound or mucus membranes. Hope that helps. Take care, LHW



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