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Possible HIV Transmission?
An_250797 posted:
Hello! I am writing because I had a possible exposure occur a little over 5 weeks ago. I was interviewing an HIV positive client and while he was talking, I could feel a little bit of fluid land on my gum above my right front tooth. I didn't think anything of it at the time, knowing that saliva alone cannot transmit HIV. It is safe to say that I probably smeared it across my gums and/or swallowed whatever it was. However, it was only when I got out to the car 20-30 mins later that I realized that it could have had blood in it (particularly because the clt had oral thrush). I rinsed my mouth out briefly with soda and went about my day. I didn't report it to anyone or get PEP because at the time, I wasn't worried about it and didn't think that anyone would have given me PEP for that exposure anyhow. Now that I have read about possible infection through mucous membranes, I am concerned. I had no open cuts/sores in my mouth at the time (that I was aware of) and had not brushed my teeth since the morning (I had not flossed since the night before). I may have eaten recently (I can't remember), but it would have been nothing very abrasive. Also, this clt could have had a high viral load becuase he had just recently (within a week or so) resumed treatment. I took an oraquick swab test at 4 weeks, 6 days and it was a strong negative. Is this encouraging? I have read that test at 4 weeks or more are good indicators because the majority of people seroconvert by that time. Any information you have is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
georgiagail responded:
At the most this client got a bit of saliva in your mouth. Saliva does not contain the virus.

In addition, in order for the virus to enter your body, you would need an open, bleeding wound in your mouth at the time. You did not have this.

Your screening test done at 4 weeks confirms your status that yes, you are HIV negative.

Kiriehimuro replied to georgiagail's response:
Thank you for your reply. I have one additional question. Would being infected with HIV and Hep C at the same time delay seroconversion (No PEP was administered)? If so, for how long? Would a 6 week negative oral swab test be a good indicator of HIV status even with the possibility of co-infection? Thank you.
georgiagail replied to Kiriehimuro's response:
No, being infected with both these viruses would not delay seroconversion. And if a 4 week test is a good indication of ones status, a 6 week test is an even better indication.

The estimate we use is that 95 percent of newly infected folks will have enough antibodies present by 4 weeks to be picked up by current testing methods. By 12 weeks this has increased to 99.9 percent. Six weeks falls somewhere inbetween.

However, the important point to keep in mind here is that your client only got (at the most) some saliva in your mouth AND you did not have an open, bleeding wound in your mouth at the time that this took place. Thus, transmission of the virus could not have taken place from the scenario as you describe it.


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