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HIV needle stick infection rate

  1. Feb 20, 2004 #1


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    A friend of my mother is a caretaker and accidentially stuck herself in the finger with a needle used on an HIV patient. It probably won't be until 6 mo from now until it can be diagnosed whether an infection has taken place.

    I was wondering, what are the chances that HIV is contracted and is anti-viral therapy post-exposure a thing to do?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2004 #2


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    Does this make sense?

  4. Feb 20, 2004 #3
    HBV and HCV are hep b and c, respectively?
  5. Feb 20, 2004 #4


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    Hepatitis B Virus and Hepatitis C Virus, yup :)
    HIV = Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  6. Feb 20, 2004 #5
    Aren't there drugs available to those that have been exposed in a 12-24 hour time-frame that dramatically lowers the odds of being infected?
  7. Feb 20, 2004 #6
    I was under the same impression, a drug is given immediately which makes the person extremely sick for a couple of days, but it prevents the infection.

  8. Feb 20, 2004 #7


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    Depending on who you ask she has a .3% or 1.5% chance of acquiring aids from the needle stick but you can reduce those chances a further 80% by taking AZT for four weeks after exposure. However, with the AZT resistance rate and if the person is already on AZT for 6 months, the new recommendation is now AZT and lamivudine for post exposre prophylaxis. (PEP)

    Risk is higher if there is a large volume of blood,
    If the injury is deep,
    If the instrument is of a hollow bore nature (e.g. syringe needle) and was previously in the source patient's vein or artery,
    If the blood is actually injected,
    If the source patient has clinical AIDS, or
    A low CD4 cell count and/or
    A high HIV RNA viral load (titre).

    PEP is initiated within hours after the exposure. (This is what I did for myself as an Intern 10 years ago and I am still HIV neg after alll these years) The interval after which there is no benefit from using PEP is not yet defined, however some ID (infectious disease) folks consider 24–36 hours as being too late. Some infectious disease specialists still consider PEP 7–14 days after the exposure in cases where there is highest risk exposures.

    An ELISA HIV test should be done and documented on the exposed health care worker at baseline (i.e. within 24 hours of the injury), at 6 weeks, 12 weeks and at 6 months. (In rarer instances seroconversion can take place over a longer period than 6 months).

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2004
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