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Can HIV be contracted after exposure to undetected viral load sample?

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Posted on Mon, 25 Jul 2016
Question: I've been recently exposed to a workplace hiv exposure. It's been two and a half weeks. The exposure was on a patient with an undetectable viral load. The tissue was soaking in 0.9 sodium chloride and there was no blood present. Had a blade cut into my thumb but no blood return from injury. Started pep combivir 8 hours after exposure. I haven't had any real symptoms except excessive stress. However, I do have a weird burning sensation of my skin between shoulder blades. No real rash or bumps. Can this be from stress, meds or any I showing signs of ARS?
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Answered by Dr. Dr. S. Murugan (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
You had PEP. Source viral load undetectable.HIV Risk is negligible

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome to HCM.
Thanks for posting your query.
First of all, relax. Nothing serious to worry about the incident.
The source of your exposure is undetectable viral load itself ensures that he/she is not infectious.
Just a contact with a tissue material of an infected individual with an injured finger carries a negligible risk for HIV.
Burning sensation over the skin is not at all a symptom for ARS or an early HIV disease symptom.
You also had PEP with Combivir,that too, within 8 hours of the exposure. (Nowadays PEP recommended with triple drug, not double. But till now two drug combination worked well as PEP).
There is nothing to worry.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2999 Questions

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Can HIV be contracted after exposure to undetected viral load sample?

Brief Answer: You had PEP. Source viral load undetectable.HIV Risk is negligible Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to HCM. Thanks for posting your query. First of all, relax. Nothing serious to worry about the incident. The source of your exposure is undetectable viral load itself ensures that he/she is not infectious. Just a contact with a tissue material of an infected individual with an injured finger carries a negligible risk for HIV. Burning sensation over the skin is not at all a symptom for ARS or an early HIV disease symptom. You also had PEP with Combivir,that too, within 8 hours of the exposure. (Nowadays PEP recommended with triple drug, not double. But till now two drug combination worked well as PEP). There is nothing to worry. Dr S.Murugan