Poked by shirt pin in bar. Very Worried.

Question

Hello! Sorry if this question is repetitive. I am just very nervous about something that happened to me one night after bar-tending. I was cleaning a table and felt a quick poke on my finger and realized i was poked by a shirt pin (one you would wear for example if you were a pilot wearing wings. There was no immediate blood drawn but it did break the skin a bit and I am fairly certain the pin had been out for at least a 20 min on the table. I was told it was left by a precarious customer who was angry for getting kicked out of the bar. He slammed it down on the table face up (meaning it probably stuck his hand). I am bar-tending part-time for supplemental income and about to get married. I hope this is just my anxiety getting the best of me but I need some reassurance that this is not a possible way to contract HIV/AIDS or Hep C. How long do these viruses live outside the body in a case such as this? About 3 weeks have passed and I don't feel as if I had any true flu symptoms other than allergies here and there. Would you suggest I seek medical testing?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I know you are all very busy doing amazing work for others and I am truly grateful for you. I will also be donating, this is such an amazing service! I will be anxiously awaiting your response. Thanks so much again!!

Answer

Hi,

The chances you contracted a blood-blood illness, such as HIV or hepatitis C, from the incident you describe are so incredibly remote that they become essentially nonexistent. Your fears are unwarranted. If my reassurance is not enough for you to put your fears permanently to rest, get a single HIV-antibody test and hepatitis screening at the three-month mark. The results will undoubtedly be negative.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's very much appreciated. Best of luck with your upcoming nuptials! (Say, you wouldn't happen to be Prince William, are you? If so, you should be heading for the chapel right now!!!)

Be well.

Dr. Bob