Risk vs Benefit
Jan 26, 2003
Hi, Dr.Boyle or Henry: I accidentally stuck a needle that in my finger when I was preparing an HIV-1 based-vector in my lab. The needle was contaminated with the vector preparation. In theory, the vecotr is defective in replication but with a remote possibility of generating so called replication competent lentivirus (RCL) that is similar to HIV but with a different envelope protein. The needle stick was very shallow. Nevertheless when I squized my finger, I did get a bit of blood out therefore constituting an exposure. Taking no chances, I have been on the triple combination treatment (retrovir,epivir and crixivan) for three days. However, these drugs made me very uncomfortable (sometimes even sick). Besides, I worry about the possible long term damages to my body from these three drugs. I am struggling with the dilemma of "risk vs benefit". Please comment on my situation for my reference when I make my own decisions. Thank you.
Response from Dr. Henry
The risk for serious side effects for a short course (prophylaxis)is quite low (though many if not most will have GI and other side effects that will resolve after the 4 weeks or so of therapy is over). It seems reasonable to me to try and get through the usual 4 week course of prophylactic therapy. If side effects are unbearable then the drugs could be switched around. KH
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.