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PLEASE HELP ME I AM DESPRATE
Oct 1, 2001

I AM DENTAL ASSISTANT AND I GOT STABED WITH A DIRTY NEEDLE FIVE MINUTES AFTER IT HAS BEEN USED. I AM SO AFRAID I GOT INFECTED I DIDNT SLEEP FOR THREE NIGHTS. DENTIST THAT I WORK FOR TELS ME THAT HIV VIRUS DIES OUTSIDE OF THE BODY WITHIN 30 SECONDS. IS THAT TRUE? PLEASE HELP ME, I HAVE A SMALL SON, IDONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Please get a good infectious disease specialist on the phone now and get some advice. You may be advised to take anti-HIV medications for the short term, just as a preventive measure. That's up to the specialist. No more sleepless nights, please: take action to protect yourself!

Your dentist is incorrect when the blood in question is inside a needle and syringe. The chance that you might have been exposed to HIV-contaminated blood is extremely small, but worth checking out so you can relax.

Please do not be concerned about your small son's health. You cannot transmit a bloodborne infection to him through ordinary contact, short of breastfeeding.

You've had an occupational exposure. Hospitals are set up to deal with that. Go!



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