HIV in the workplace

Question

I work in a dental office as a certified assistant. Our office sees a lot of patients that are infected with HIV and AIDS. I recently was exposed to HIV when I was injured by a "needlestick" like injury from a bur. A bur is the bit used in a handpiece used to drill decay from a tooth or to prep an area of the mouth for a crown prep. The bur that I was "stuck" with was in a pack from our sterilizer. The sterilizer indicated that the pack had successfully been sterilized. However, my question to you is...This bur was used on an HIV+ patient...Although it was sterilized through steam and heat...Do you think it is possible that I could be infected? I guess what I am searching for is how long can HIV and AIDS live on an object or instrument, and what is the probability of me being at risk??

Answer

This forum is dedicated to HIV-positive folks, particularly those who have concerns related to fatigue and/or anemia. Questions related to HIV transmission, prevention, safer sex, HIV testing and risk should be sent to Dr. Bob at his "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" expert forum. Please resubmit your question there using the same title and add the phrase, "resubmitted form the Fatigue and Anemia Forum." Thank you.