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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Newbie

Reged: 02/17/07
Posts: 1
occupational exposure
      #224592 - 02/17/07 01:38 PM

I have just this week had an occupational exposure. I stuck myself with an instrument from a patient known to be Hep B and HIV positive.
Although academically I understand the low risk factor, emotionally the experience has been hard. I am always the calm one, the rational one and the optimist, but I find myself feeling very emotional at this time. It may be in part due to how lousy I feel from the meds, combivir and kaletra.

Im looking for support, advice on dealing with med sideeffects and advise on dealing with a less than supportive work environment.

I work in an office that sees a large amount of HIV positive patients and I was wrong in assuming that there would be protocall and porfessionalism in regards to a staff exposure and I was wrong. My boss has been trying hard to convince me that my puncture would was more like a paper cut and that I did not need the meds. I went to an HIV specialist for my immediate post exposure treatment. I explained the exact nature of my exposure and he said under cdc and osha guidelines I needed to take the meds.

Just looking for some support and advice.

D-

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: occupational exposure new
      #224596 - 02/17/07 03:41 PM

While occupational exposures do exist, it's not going to be likely that you will unltimately test postive.

I feel for you on the whole Meds issue. Imagine having to take those suckers just to live.

I'm sorry you are facing stigma about this at work. Again, it may open your eyes to what all those HIV+ patients you interact with have to deal with every single day.

Good luck with your testing.

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Survivor
Legend

Reged: 10/30/05
Posts: 3256
Loc: Get off the fence and live again!
Re: occupational exposure new
      #224599 - 02/17/07 05:28 PM

As an HIV positive person, I can imagine taking these "suckers" just to live, cuz I am. PEP is smart move my friend. After two weeks, your system will stabilize and it will not be that big a deal. Its always better to err on the side of caution. I do not agree with your boss the slightest bit and I wonder why he is your boss.... I would address your universal precaution protocal's in the office and learn from this and not simply wisk it under the rug as it would seem they are doing to you...

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: occupational exposure new
      #224600 - 02/17/07 05:52 PM

I wouldn't go off the deep end about the protocals Eric.

I found it a little odd that the description used was "I stuck myself with an instrument from a patient known to be Hep B and HIV positive."

Occupational hazards, (short of the latest nonsense on CSI) deal with needle sticks. Since this poster took pains not to disclose exactly what happened and hey, just like a spade is a spade, most people with a needle stick accident would call it just that. Not an instrument.

There may well be very good reasons why this was treated lightly in this posters eyes. It is possible that this poster is perceiving a risk where there really wasn't one. That certainly isn't something new around here.

We've seen people put on PEP when it is not needed, just because they push and push.

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