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HIV exposure in workplace
Dec 30, 2001

I work on a lockdown hospital based psych unit.Last week a patient who has tested positive for HIV attacked me and bit a coworker breaking the skin.She is on antivirals and being followed.What are her chances of contracting HIV?

Response from Ms. Breuer

I assume that the "her" you refer to is your coworker. Unless there was blood in the patient's mouth at the time of the bite, your coworker would not be at risk of acquiring HIV. I would recommend that your coworker discuss exactly what happened with a specialist in infectious diseases. If the patient did have blood in the mouth when biting your coworker, the risk of transmission would be present, although the case history of transmission through biting makes it clear that this risk is extremely small.



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