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Are prophalatic drugs sufficient to delay seroconversion ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 19 Questions
I am a healthcareworker, and I experienced a needlestick injury. The source patient was HIV positive. I took the prophalatic drugs for 4 weeks. I tested at 6 wks, 3mnths, 6 mnths,and 10 mnths. Is a negative test at 10 months definitive? Is it true that it can take 10 years to show up in blood. Will the drugs taken delay seroconversion? Should I test for this one incident the rest of my life? Are the Elisa test accurate?
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Manju M 2 hours later

Thanks for posting the query.

Needle stick injury is common among the healthcare workers and it can transmit diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

Risk of transmission of HIV after per cutaneous prick is very less, about 0.3%.

After such a incident if the patient was a known case of HIV, you will be put on post exposure prophylaxis which are usually given for 4 weeks.

Follow up testes will be done at 6 weeks, 12 weeks and at 6 months.

Window period is the period from infection to the appearance or antibodies in blood. It is about 25 days for HIV-1 and 16 days for HIV-2.

So, you XXXXXXX taken the testes at 6weeks, 3,6 and 10 months and they all were negative for the antibodies.

This almost rules out possibility of HIV infection in you.

ELISA test is highly sensitive test to detect the antibodies. They do give false positive testes sometimes. These testes are very accurate in the experienced hands.

Western blot is the confirmatory test for the HIV.

I do not think that the drugs taken for post exposure delay seroconversion, and there is no need to undergo testing for the rest of the life.

If you are in doubt you can go for western blot which is confirmatory.

Hope this answers your query.

I will be available for follow up queries if any.

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