From Taliban killing fields, SOS, A UN Aid volunteer pleads

Question

Dear Sir, I am a volunteer, serving here in balochistan for the United Nations as a daily wager.Infact I requested a senior official here in our unit to write on my behalf as I am not as proficient in english.Sir, I am in absolute state of anxiety, I am here at your door step, pleading you to help me.Sir, I have witnessed as much blood and gore, over here that indeed its common place to see large numbers of crtically injured persons being wheeled into our clinic here, almost everyday.This morning when I was assisting my surgeon during a suturing proceedure, I was quite meticulously handing over the instruments. I was wearing gloves myself, and initially handed over local anaesthetic loaded in 10 cc syringe, and later a Lumbar puncture needle, as it was required for a certain step.I absolutely remember that I did not incur a needle prick, but later, when I took off my gloves, I was stunned to see a small area of bleed on the knuckle region of my right hand, it was associated with itching. Dear Sir, I cannot quite tell you how panic stricken I have become since that incident. Sir, I enquired with my surgeon if I did get pricked during the procedure , and he said as far as he could remember I did not get pricked.On the other hand, I do not quite know the HIV status of the patient. Sir I have come to your door for help.Please assess my situation.The fact that I should have realised if I had been indeed pricked with either the disposable 10 cc needle, or the lumbar puncture needle helps me think if the bleed was not due to prick, but I cannot find solace in that. I constantly am being struck with thoughts of HIV, I am indeed crying Dear Sir. Please help me , analyse my situation and tell me if indeed PEP is required. Please send me your best karma, as I have heard it is like god sent...

Answer

Hello,

It seems highly unlikely you were pricked during the procedure without knowing it. PEP is not warranted. If you remain concerned, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark.

Good-luck karma sent not only that you are now and will always be HIV free, but also that you remain safe in that treacherous, tragic and dangerous part of the world.

Good luck. Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob