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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Can HIV transmission occur through conjunctiva tissue?

Hello I am sorry for asking maybe for the same things but I am afraid, that I could also be at risk of HIV infection. I am a medical student and yesterday me and another doctor tried to took the blood from HIV- positive and Hepatitidis-C possitive patient. But the bloodvene entrance, the peripheral catheter, wasn t clean and so we needed to put into some NaCl. But it didn t go well and suddendly the liquid went out like the doctor made a pressure on the syringe. It was a little like a spray spread. But before he aspired just a very very small amount of patient s blood. The doctor got the luquid into his face but I was like meter far away from the end of bed. The last drops fellt on the sheet of bed and I didn t noticed any feeling that I got some drops into my face. However the marks form drops were clear - no pink or red color from blood. But the doctor took a prophylaxis. And now I am scared of HIV infection through my conjunctiva tissue. And the patient said that her viremia was low. Can you please answer me if I should take a prophylaxis please and what is the risk?
Mon, 7 Jul 2014
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Infectious Diseases Specialist 's  Response
Hi,

Welcome to HCM.

I understand your concern regarding exposure to HIV. Risk of exposure to HIV can be assessed based on two types of codes called exposure code and status code.

Exposure code is of three types, EC1, EC2 and EC3, based on whether exposure occurred on intact skin or compromised skin or mucous membrane, volume of exposure and duration of exposure.

Status code is of three types, SC1, SC2 and SC unknown based on HIV status of patient.

Based on details mentioned in your query, you have had EC1 and SC1 type of exposure, whose risk is minimal and post exposure prophylaxis is not warranted.

I suggest you quit worrying unnecessarily.

I would also stress upon following all universal precautions when dealing with any patient whether HIV positive or not.

Thanks.
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