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Lancet Pen, HIV Risk?



I hope you could help me. My daughter got a blood test done at medical clinic in Greece while we were on holiday. The blood test was done by lancet pen. I saw the nurse to take a new lancet BUT the new lancet was put to a lancet pen that was not a single-use pen which means that the pen is used on multiple patients. When we returned home I learned that these lancet pens should not be used on multiple people even if a new lancet is used and that this procedure could put my daughter to a risk for blood-borne viruses such as HIV, HBV or HCV. I took my daughter to a pediatrician and they did "baseline" tests at 6,5 weeks (46 days) post this incidence. All tests were negative and the HIV test they used was 4th. gen test (HIVAgAb). We also learned that my daughter has a good response to Hepatitis A/B vaccination she received when she was 2 yrs. old (thank god for that).

My questions:
What is the real HIV/HCV risk from this incident? Health officials say that using these pens is a risk even if the lancet is changed. I have read your answers that say that it would be no-risk even when people got pricked with USED lancet. I am really confused.

Taking into account this incidence (new lancet put to a lancet device and only the pen used on oher people than my daughter) how accurate is the 4th gen HIV test done at 46 days? One doctor said it is conclusive and another that we still need to get tested at 12 weeks.

I am so scared and my anxiety level is very high. I am scared that my 10-year-old daughter got infected because I took her to see a doctor while we were on vacation. Please help!



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the accuracy of the 4th Generation "DUO" test.

Most HIV specialists consider the results of a 4th Generation "DUO" test to be conclusive after 6 weeks, as the test is able to detect HIV infection in 99% of people after this time (1). Some guidelines and physicians recommend re-testing at 12 weeks for completely conclusive results, in which the test's accuracy reaches 99.9%.

In regards to your question about the reuse of the lancet holder, note that some brands of lancet holders are designed to be reused while others are meant for single-use. If the lancet holder was meant for single-use, but was reused by the nurse, it is extremely unlikely that any infectious disease were passed on to your child due to the use of a fresh lancet.


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Marie