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POST-EXPOSURE treatment in needle-stick injuries of a HIV+ Patient.

Dec 22, 1999

What is a POST-EXPOSURE Treatment in Sero positive needle stick injuriy? and what are the chances of getting infected and what is the success of Anti-retroviral Therapy?

Response from Dr. Pavia

There is great, complete information available at the CDC web site at

The quick answer to your questions is that post exposure prophylaxis is the use of antiviral drugs rapidly after a high risk needle stick (ideally within a few hours) to prevent the person who was stuck from getting infected. The risk depends on characteristics of the stick (worse if it is deep, a hollow needle, and has visible blood; less if it is through gloves) and the characteristics of the HIV infected source patient. The risk is higher if the patient has late stage AIDS or has a high viral load. The overall risk is about 1 in 300 to 400 sticks. The only good estimate we have from one study, suggests that prophylaxis is 80% effective. Other wise stated, it reduces the risk to about 1/5 of what it would be otherwise.

The guidlelines fill in a lot of the other details ATP

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