blood exposure, and negative test at 8 weeks


Hi Doctor Frascino,

(I have Lyme disease for about 8 months since Sept, 2008 and been on treatment with anti-biotics.)

About 2 months ago, in April , on a Saturday nite, i was at a bar and next to my table there was a fight. A guy was bleeding on his head and face, his blood was splashing everywhere in tiny droplets, got on my shirt and arms, and face, I don't know if it got in my eyes or not. Monday morning (2 days later), I woke up and saw my face got bigger on both sides under both ears, look like my saliva glands are swollen (no fever or any symptom at all). I read on internet, they said swollen saliva glands (paratoid glands) could be a sign of hiv infection. I went to the doctor to have her look at , she test for strep and it's negative, and she told me that maybe it could be a cold or flu virus, nothing serious.

About 5 weeks later, I developed a nasal congestion, running nose, body aches, chills for about 3-5 days (no fever) my temp. was around 98.6 - 98.8, then right after that, on the six weeks a got pain in hands, wrist, pain in right shoulder, tingling in palms and soles. On the 7th week i got burning in throat, it come and go for about a week. After week 8 most symptoms went away, i got freak out and went to the doctor , and ask her to test me for all std including HIV, hep b, hep C. All are negative, but a false positive on Syphyllis ( the screen was positive 1:10 but the FTA - ABS is Nonreactive). The HIV 1/2 EIA ab screen after 8 weeks is Negative. She told me to test again at 6 months.

For the past few days, I been thinking about all the symptoms and got really scare. My question is, can i get HIV from that incident if his blood got in my eyes, and he had HIV. Are my symptom sound like HIV?

Is my 8 weeks negative HIV test ok, or do i need to test again at 3 months. I have Lyme disease which could have weaken my immune systems. Does having Lyme disease and taking antibiotic interfere with HIV test or may take longer to test for HIV?

I really appreciate your help answering my question and I will donate 50 dollar.

Please help and thanks so much.



If anything splashed into your eyes, you would have known it (it would have stung!). Consequently your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent.

To address your specific questions:

  1. I very strongly doubt you got blood in your eye. Even if you did, it would be doubtful the bleeding guy was HIV infected. Even if he was and even if his fresh blood did land in your eye, the HIV-transmission risk remains extremely low. As for "symptoms," they are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected.

  2. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive or conclusive.

  3. Lyme's disease and/or taking antibiotics would not increase the time to HIV seroconversion.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated.

Be well.

Dr. Bob