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I may have been exposed thru needlestick, tested negative @3 mos, more or less
Dec 30, 2001

hi, thank you for taking the time to read this little letter of mine. When I was still a nursing student in the Philippines, i was rendering care to cancer patients recieving chemotherapy. While throwing away empty IV bottles in the trash can I was stuck by a used needle. It may have been there foe more thatn 15 mins. I really did'nt think anything of it at the time because I felt that I was not at risk, because I was not sure if it item that stuck me was actually a needle. Then maybe 10 weeks after the incedent I attended a seminar on HIV/AIDS. That's what triggered my anxiety. At appx 3 months (more or less) I had a ELISA test done. Fortunately it was negative. After that I was not recommended to test again. Are these tests positive? Should I still be worried? It's been over 2 years since the said exposure, and I'm still thinking about it. Thank you in advance. Cathy

Response from Ms. Breuer

Thank you for your question, Cathy. Your negative test at 3 months is 99.8% reliable. Just to put your mind at ease, it might be a good idea to re-test at 6 months. When that one comes back negative, you'll know that the possible exposure did not infect you and you'll be able to put those last niggling fears to rest.

In the future, you'll enjoy your work in health care much more if you think about this event each time you discard contaminated trash. It will help you to avoid exposure. We need you in health care! Take care.

HIV exposure in workplace
handshake question, 12-30-01

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