Anonymous
Hello
i was routinely doing my hiv test from a local lab in a developing country around 26 days back ...before that i did not have any exposure. When drawing the blood I got a bit careless and didnot see if the lab person has opened a new packet of syringe/needle to withdraw my blood. After withdrawing the blood he just closed the needle of the syringe with a cap left it on the side which really got me worried at that time but I ignored it.  
its when at 20th day I had a sore throat with fever for 3 days followed by a diarhea and 3 small 2mm diameter rash on my forearm and hand which really created my anxiety. Since 2 days I am also having a wierd pain on the edge of my index finger... just below the nail part. I have heard joint pain occurs in acute hiv stage. 

I know maybe i am overreacting but I was worried about this until I had these symptoms and I started to rewind everything what happend at the lab. 
In this country people get paid very less and they might use the syringes twice on patients in order to sell the saved ones in the market. 
my question is  

1)how long does hiv with blood stay alive in a hollow bore needle as I am pretty sure 1 hour time gap was there between me and the patient before me. 

2) joint pain is a symptom of acute hiv.. but my pain is basically not on at the joint but at the edge of the index finger below nail.. is that similar ?
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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for your questions.

I am going to say that labs in general have to operate with strict guidelines including use of needles and that the lab you attended likely observed correct procedures. However I do not know this for a fact and I suggest that you may wish to ask the lab directly about their practices if at all possible. If a needle with a hollow bore was used on someone else who did have HIV there could be a high risk for transmission.

Symptoms that you described may be associated with HIV but could also come from other conditions. Symptoms are not used to diagnose HIV because they can look like symptoms that could be related to various other conditions. Only a blood test will tell you if you have acquired HIV.

The testing window for 3rd generation tests is between 4 weeks to 3 months. Official testing guidelines (World Health Organization) still recommend testing at 3 months (84 days) after exposure for a conclusive result. I encourage you to be re-tested at 84 days after your initial testing where you were worried about the needle. Then you will know with certainty what your HIV status is.

If you have more questions about HIV in the future, please contact the Helpline again.

In Health,

Marnelle

Helpline Volunteer

Helpline MON-FRI 10am-4pm

helpline@aidsvancouver.org
Tel. 604-253-0566 Ext. 299
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