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Can you get infected with HIV through dental equipment?

Question: 

Dear all,

I went to the dentist a little over 2 weeks ago, and I was terrified of it. I went there and the dental assistant told me that the tools are obtained from an autoclave bag. He told me that there was supposed to be some blue indicator, but later when I saw the bag, I did not see the indicator and it was not blue.
I have been suffering for more than 2 weeks because I am afraid of being infected with HIV. The day I went to the dentist, I actually ended up going to the ER twice because I was so anxious and scared and I started to panic.
I did not have any procedure done on an actual day, the dentist just checked for cavities (up to that point I was fine). However, then she used a dental probe (a long metal tool with a hook) to check my gums, and see if they needed cleaning. My gums ended up bleeding, and that's when I panicked. Especially since I had seemed the mirror she was using (the little dental mirror) had a reddish tint, and the dentist cleaned it. I thought maybe it was just fog, but now that I think about it, I think maybe it could have been blood.
I also got an HIV test on the same day, and of course, it was negative, which I knew it would be. I know any infection would show 3-4 weeks later, so I am scared again because today and yesterday I woke up with an itchy throat and itchy nose like allergies.
I have been obsessively checking my lymph nodes and fever, and I am just scared. How likely is for someone to be infected with HIV at the dentist, and when it was just a checkup and not an invasive procedure.
The only thing that caused bleeding was the dental probe tool the dentist used to check my gums and see if I needed a cleaning.

- SB

P.S. The doctors at the ER told me that I did not need PEP because I did not have an exposure and that it was highly unlikely for someone to be infected at the dentist, but that's what bothers me, they told me it is highly unlikely. It should be not likely at all. They told me I have anxiety issues, which is true, is not the first time I have been scared. I had a tonsillectomy last year and I was also scared to death. I was not able to relax until I had a test.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about whether you can acquire HIV from sanitized dental equipment. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be no risk (transmission of HIV is not possible with the given scenario.) The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the transmission equation. It does not meet the components of the transmission equation because the dental instruments have been sanitized. HIV transmission occurs when a body fluid (such as blood, semen, pre-cum, vaginal fluids) has direct access to enter the blood stream.

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Ashley