Should i keep worrying

Question

I am a healthcare worker. About a year ago, i had a needle stick (no blood contamination was on the needle, only tissue)and i forgot at that time to do a needle stick protocol. Now my wife is pregnant and she was tested negative for HIV. Since she is HIV negative, should I about this issue? because i am alway worried about this HIV virus. I dont have any symptoms at all.

Answer

Hi Healthcare Worker,

You are "always worried about HIV," but you "forgot to do a needlestick protocol" when you sustained an occupational needlestick exposure a year ago??? Hmm . . . I don't buy your "I forgot" story. Chances are you were just too scared or worried to follow the recommended needlestick protocol. That's a bad decision, as proper evaluation and prompt treatment if necessary (post-exposure prophylaxis) could not only help to abort an HIV infection, but could also save your life.

Regarding your wife's negative HIV test, this is excellent news. However, your wife's HIV test results cannot be used as a surrogate marker to determine your HIV status! The only way for you to know your HIV status is to get your own HIV test. Neither your absence of symptoms nor your wife's negative HIV test can assure you are not infected following a potential HIV exposure.

Should you worry? No.

Should you get HIV tested and follow the needlestick protocol? Yes.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob