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Occupational Exposure

7 weeks ago today….

My  Hiv + patient( End Stage of AIDS, non complaint with medications),  had in her hand a alcohol swab that had been applied to her bleeding finger after obtaining a blood sugar level.  The alcohol swab must have been in her finger for 30 seconds before she handed it to me (few drops of blood in the middle) , I picked up from her hands without gloves. I stood there in shock for 5 seconds with it in my hands, threw away the alcohol swab and went to the hallway to look at my hands, went right back inside the room and washed my hands. From that point on I forgot whether there was opening on my hands or blood or which hand I used. I have been living in a fear for this past 7 weeks.
10 days after exposure I started to take my temperature, it has always been at some point of the day around the 99.2, also had mild sore throat for 1+ week.  And ever since I have been congested with my temperature staying from 98.6 – 99.3. This past week my temperature has been in the 98.8 to 99.3 range, and my congestion has worsened. Also my period is late (And I’m not pregnant). There is so much information online regarding symptoms and all of the things I have mention match some of that information.

At 9 days post exposure: HIV Duo was negative
At 13 days post exposure : PCR/VIRAL LOAD was undetected
At 29 days post exposure : HIV Duo was negative
At 42 days post exposure : HIV Duo was negative

I strongly suspect have been infected from this exposure and it has not allowed me to move forward with my life.
10 Responses
Avatar universal
The alcohol in the swab would kill the virus.
It was outside the body for around 30 seconds you say - as I understand, HIV can barely survive outside the body for more than a few seconds.
Secondly, you didnt have any visible cuts on your own fingers/hands.

So you are not at risk here. I'm sure the health department in your workplace will have told you the same thing right?

The above would be the advice you would be given if you HADNT tested. But you have - 4 times - and a negative PCR test at 13 days and a DUO after 28 days is conclusive! You are in the clear! :-)
(Viral load at 13 days post infection would be very high - so the fact that you tested negative means you are good to go).
Avatar universal
Should you have not contacted your HR dept or supervisor to discuss this with them?

You had no risk.
Avatar universal
I did. They have been providing me with all the test I have mentioned. I cannot seem to accept my results, specially with what I have been feeling in my body in relation to "symptoms".
Avatar universal
Well if you can't accept the results and the FACT that you had no risk then seek a therapist to help you.
Avatar universal
How can I accept the results, when there is 50% of information out there (including here ) that say they are conclusive at 6 weeks  and another 50 %(including here ) that one should wait 3 months.
Avatar universal
YOU HAD NO RISK. That is more important than test results.
Avatar universal
So basically you are saying : High Viral Load Blood in alcohol swab , being touched by finger(s) whether is intact skin or not= NO RISK. I want to get that clear.....
Avatar universal
Yes
Avatar universal
Thank you for your time !!
Avatar universal
Thank Your for your time and your detailed answer.

The Occupational Dept at the hospital I work, considered this to be a "very very low risk" only assuming I had a cut or compromised skin. The 9 days test was done as a annual check with my OB/GYN. The PCR was done by Occupational Health per my request to relief my anxiety, the same with the 4 week test. Their protocol is 6 week, 3 months and 6 months which they will continue to provide for me to help with my anxiety.

Again Thank you for your time and understanding.
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