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should i be worried
Jan 18, 2004

please email me with your response. I had a patient in with diabetes and a spinal abcess. the MD was questioning HIV as being his source of immunosuppression however he felt the source to be the patient's uncontrolled diabetes. He ordered an HIV panel and it came back negative. The antibodies that were in the panel were HTLVI and HTLVII. This is something different from HIV, right? So why did he order that set of antibodies to be tested for? Also I was giving the pt an insulin injection with large gloves on my hands, I hardly poked myself in the thumb with the dirty needle. The patient did not bleed after the injection and I do not recollect any blood when I poked myself coming from my thumb. I washed the area well with soap and hot water. First what is the likelyhood of transmission if the patient was HIV negative and was the patient considered to be HIV negative with the neg HTLV antibodies?? Thank you for your time

Response from Ms. Breuer

Thanks for your question. HIV comes in two variants: HIV 1 and HIV 2. I cannot read the physician's mind to tell you why he ordered the tests. The negative results mean that, even if you had exposed yourself to the patient's blood, you could not have been exposed to HIV unless the patient was in the window period. Everything you describe here suggests that you did not have an exposure. However, I'm sure there's an infection control specialist in your hospital or clinic. Why not run the scenario past that person, just to put your mind at ease?

p.s. I can't reply to your email address because I do not receive it in the question. Email addresses are blinded before questions reach us here in the forum.



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