Gauze exposure?

Question

Almost one month ago, I was in my phlebotomy class and we were doing dermal punctures, I had gone first, and done it on my classmate, he didn't bleed due to cold hands, I continued to show my preceptor what I would do which was whip the blood, and continue with the dermal puncture, since he wasn't bleeding there wasn't much we could do, anyways, we went on to look at a presentation up front, and about 30 minutes later we went back and it was my turn to have a dermal puncture done, I went to the bathroom first and when I had came back, my classmate had all the supplies ready (gauze, lancet, alcohol wipe, etc) need I remind you the entire time there was a preceptor there with us, and other classmates, As soon as he proceeded, it bothered me that I didn't see him open a new gauze, and since I didn't remember throwing away my gauze, it made me think, and I automatically thought that he used a used gauze, there was not blood on the gauze and I felt nothing wet. The only time I saw blood was when he wiped my finger ( I bleed a lot ) and ever since then I have been feeling every symptom possible. From hiv to hep b, hep c, etc. please help me. 10 day later I had a antibody test which came out negative, but I worry it was too soon. Am I at risk? Or is this all due to anxiety?

Answer

Hi, This is not a way for HIV transmission to occur. Hopefully during your class they will teach you how to protect yourself from not just HIV but all of the infections out there. The general rule is to treat everyone like they have something and use the best procautions possible.

Transmission of HIV from a contaminated surface would require massive exposure to blood or other infected liquid for a prolonged period of time (for example: a blood soaked shirt of a health care worker that remained while she performed CPR). See HIV101 for how HIV is and is not transmitted.

HIV transmission can only occur when there is a direct and prolonged exposure to body fluids, semen, vaginal fluid, blood or mother to child through breast feeding. This most commonly occurs through unprotected vaginal or anal sex and sharing of needles. Casual contact, sharing utensils, drinking after someone, etc are not way for HIV transmission to occur. If you go to this link HIV101 it will take you to our page that talks about the ways in which HIV is and is not transmitted.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon