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Afraid I hurt my family after needlestick, please help
Oct 1, 2013

Please someone answer this question. I pricked my finger with a 20 gauge needle after inserting an IV. The patient tested HIV negative. I tested HIV negative at 6 weeks (44 days) after needle stick. I was not given PEP. I was told I could resume breastfeeding if patient tested HIV negative. My husband had a sore throat for 3 days, fever for 1 day, and a sore neck the week I tested HIV negative. My baby last week had an upper respiratory virus with ear infection and fever. After the fever was gone, she developed a viral rash on her stomach, back, and forehead and it was gone in 2 days. She had 3 doses of augmentin, but stopped taking it because it was causing vomiting. She then had a rocephin shot and was switched to omnicef. She is well now. Have I given HIV to my husband and baby? Were they in ARS? How accurate is my 6 week test? Why was I not given PEP? The PEP guidelines state its not necessary to determine if source is in window period, why is that? I had a HIV 1/0/2 antibody test ICMA and so did the patient. Please, please help. I am so scared I have hurt people I love.

Response from Dr. Wohl

I do not think you were infected and therefore do not believe you could transmit the virus to others.

The source patient was HIV negative. The only way you could have been infected is if the patient was in the throes of acute HIV (unlikely). Further, if you were infected, you would have likely tested positive at 6 weeks. So, all of this makes this highly unlikely.

Impossible? I can't say that so I would get a last HIV test at 12 weeks or an HIV RNA or a 4th generation HIV test now. IF any of these are negative, it was all a case of bad timing of a cold that passed through your family.

Why you were not given PEP is unclear. It could be because the source was negative or the exposure was deemed very low or no risk.

DW



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