i had an minor road accident on feb 29/ 2016.left hand tetanus shot from local medicine shop. two days later felt a small lump in groin. . no other injury.went to doctor, doc gave some antibiotics.did FNAC TEST for groin lump. report came reactive hyperplasia of lymhp node. doc said just for some infection groin lump swelled. i am not sexually active person but still i did hiv combo test at 35 days(april 4th/2016). my lump stayed for 2 months, now its become very tiny. hiv result came non reactive at 35 days. can i assure myself that i am not hiv infected by tetanus shot? can i take my result conclusive because it was combo test(ag/ab)? few good words from your side can relax me. thank you.
Hello and thanks for contacting AIDS Vancouver with your question. It sounds like you are concerned about your risk of HIV transmission after having a tetanus shot, as well as the reliability of your test results.

When assessing the risk of HIV transmission, we can refer to the HIV Transmission Equation below:


---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection

As we can see from the equation, the risk of HIV transmission depends on body fluid + activity + direct access to the blood stream.

The scenario that you have described is a No Risk scenario. This means that to our knowledge, none of the practices in this category have ever been demonstrated to lead to HIV infection. Here are some reasons why:

* HIV is a human-to-human virus. Once HIV is outside of the body and exposed to oxygen, it is no longer transmissible. Any fluid containing HIV on the needle used for your tetanus shot would have been exposed to oxygen and would therefore be no longer transmissible.

* HIV needs a human host to survive. You cannot get HIV from an object (Ex: a needle).

* You did NOT engage in a high risk activity.

* No body fluids were exchanged.

We currently do not attribute any symptoms to HIV because the virus presents itself differently in different people. The symptoms that you have been experiencing could be indicative of other viral infections. I am very glad to hear that you are seeking treatment from your doctor for the lump in your groin. I would encourage you to continue seeking treatment from your doctor to ensure that the lump heals in a timely matter.

It sounds like you had the 4th Generation EIA test, which is commonly referred to as the "combination," "combo" or "DUO" test. This test is highly accurate. Most HIV specialists consider this test to be conclusive at 6 weeks but official HIV testing guidelines still recommend re-testing at 12 weeks for conclusive results. When considering if you need another test at 12 weeks, I would suggest that you keep in mind that you had a No Risk exposure.

I would encourage you to check out the following resources for more information about HIV:

  • Risk Assessment Chart


  • The Body

  • Thanks for contacting AIDS Vancouver.


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