[Question #2883] HIV from lancet prick

42 months ago
Dr,

Thank you in advance for your time and reply.

I went for a Rapid HIV test at Planned Parenthood. It was a finger prick test, and a lancet was used. So, below is the timeline

Day 0: Finger prick test
Day 10: Got sore throat for one day
Day 11: Got runny nose for three days, and cough
Day 12: Fever upto 100F for one day, mostly around 99.5F
Day 15 - Day 25: Cough only
Day 25: Did HIV Duo test at a lab - came back negative
Day 37: That is today. Still feel lump in the throat and need to clear it and occasional cough

Questions:
1. Does one get HIV from lancet prick? Has there been any case known to you?
2. Could I have got HIV from the finger prick at Planned Parenthood, as I got ARS like symptoms at 10 days after the test?
3. Do my symptoms match ARS? I know that about 50% don't get any symptoms, but if they do, is sore throat, fever, runny nose, and cough among them?
4. Assuming if it was ARS symptoms- how reliable is HIV duo test at 15 days after it?
5. How reliable is test at 25 days after exposure?
6. I am worried since I got 10 days after the prick, which matches the time most of the people get ARS, and that I have lingering cough and throat lump. It seems my body immunity is compromised.

42 months ago
**Correction in question 6**
1. Does one get HIV from lancet prick? Has there been any case known to you?
2. Could I have got HIV from the finger prick at Planned Parenthood, as I got ARS like symptoms at 10 days after the test?
3. Do my symptoms match ARS? I know that about 50% don't get any symptoms, but if they do, is sore throat, fever, runny nose, and cough among them?
4. Assuming if it was ARS symptoms- how reliable is HIV duo test at 15 days after it?
5. How reliable is test at 25 days after exposure?
6. I am worried since I got sick 10 days after the prick, which matches the time most of the people get ARS, and that I have lingering cough and throat lump. It seems my body immunity is compromised.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  The question you are (about a lancet stick) is one that we have answered on numerous occasions in the past.  There are no precise data on the risk for HIV from persons who were stuck by a used lancet but from a theoretical and practical point of view, they are rare and ceratainly associated with less risk than sticks from a hollow needle.  The reason for this is that hollow needles can "hide" blood in the needle which can tend be transferred.  On the other hand, lancets do not have hollow spots for blood to be sheltered and transferred to others.  I would add that it is statistically quite unlikely that the lancet you were stuck with had been used on a person with HIV and that I have never heard of someone becoming infected with HIV due to a lancet stick.  Now, on to your specific questions:

1. Does one get HIV from lancet prick? Has there been any case known to you?
See above.  I have never had or heard of someone becoming infected in this way.

2. Could I have got HIV from the finger prick at Planned Parenthood, as I got ARS like symptoms at 10 days after the test?
Again, unlikely.  See answers above and below.

3. Do my symptoms match ARS? I know that about 50% don't get any symptoms, but if they do, is sore throat, fever, runny nose, and cough among them?
Sore throat and fever are part of the ARS but cough  and runny nose are not and are more suggestive of a coincidental cold. 

4. Assuming if it was ARS symptoms- how reliable is HIV duo test at 15 days after it?
If your combination HIV antigen/antibody tests was taken when or after you had symptoms, it proves that you did not have ARS.  If you had the ARS, the test would have been positive.

5. How reliable is test at 25 days after exposure?
At 25 days a combination test would detect more than 90% of infections, at 28 days more than 99% of infections and at 6 weeks would be absolutely conclusive.

6. I am worried since I got sick 10 days after the prick, which matches the time most of the people get ARS, and that I have lingering cough and throat lump. It seems my body immunity is compromised.
See comments above.

I hope these comments are helpful.  It is most unlikely that you got HIV from the event that you describe.  EWH

---
42 months ago
Thank you Dr. Hook.
I went to the clinic and found out that the lancet is single use and becomes inoperative after that. Now my mind goes into what if scenarios and has no end.

1. Based on what you said from my testing it seems like it was not ARS. Is that certain? Since from what I understood about testing, only PCR tests are certain at ARS and Ag/Ab are not. Since there is a possibility that there might not be enough virus or antibodies.

2. Also, the fever I got was low grade. Does ARS sometimes has low grade or only high fever? And how long does it last, as mine was less than a day. And same with sore throat, it was just for a day.

3. Do you see any reason for further testing? Can I move on confidently. 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
I apologize for not pointing out  that these lancets are single use devices and that it would be unlikely that the lancet used on you had been used before.  I should have but this too, is one more reason that you should not be worried.  As for your follow-up questions:

1.  This is a repetitive question.  The answers will not change.  Your symptoms were not those of the ARS and your tests prove that the illness you described was not ARS.  Your understanding that only PCR testing would diagnose the ARS is incorrect.

2.  The fever if the ARS is typically high and lasts for more than one day, as does the SEVERE sore throat that is typical of the ARS.

3.  Personally, if I were you, I would not have been worried in the first place and I certainly would not feel the need for further testing at this time.

EWH
---
42 months ago
Dr Hook,
Just for peace of mind I did an HIV Ag/Ab 4th gen lab test at 7 weeks. It came out non-reactive, which I think means negative.

Is 7 week testing good enough?

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
At any time more than 6 weeks after an exposure HIV antigen/antibody tests provide conclusive results.  Your 7 week result proves that you did not acquire HIV from the lancet prick you described.  There is no reason for additional testing.  You did not get HIV from the lancet prick.

This is my 3rd reply to your questions. Therefore, as per Forum guidelines, this thread will be closed in a few hours.   EWH
---