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How soon should i test myself for HIV after poking myself with a needle accidentally?
I am in medical school, accidentally poked myself with a needle after practicing drawing blood from a volunteer. This happened two days ago so when should i test?

Honestly, try to be helpful instead of criticizing; however it should be a bit disappointing that you would need to resort to this website instead of one of your instructors.

Anywho - I would say right away, you can never be too safe.

miranda w
if you are in medical school you should know the answer to this question.

You should have been taught about this before you were in a risky situation, ensure this policy is put in place at your school.
You need immediate testing - this proves that you didn't already have an infection. Then test again in 3 months (this is the window period between infection and antibodies appearing) but then you know that....... right ?

You should have gotten a GammaGlobin shot immediately, and get tested every 6 weeks for the nest 2 years. If no + test, you should be ok.

John B
Immediately. If a person chooses to take prophylactic action then the drugs need to be started within a couple of hours after the exposure. Blood test are done to determine baseline status for HIV and Hep B and C. HIV testing should be repeated after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. Any time there is a needle stick exposure it needs to be reported so that appropriate action is taken. The source person should also be tested for HIV, Hep B and C status. Hope you learn about this stuff in medical school.

When you reported to your instructor that you poked yourself they should have gave you the information you needed.

--- orange ---
As soon as possible.

First off, inform your instructor (if you haven't already) that you have had a body fluid exposure. You are required to do this.

Testing will begin. Blood will be drawn from you and from the volunteer (if this person consents). The blood will be tested for various blood borne disease, HIV being only one of them. If the baseline tests are negative, you should be retested every 3 months for one year.

Be advised...the volunteer is under NO obligation to consent to testing. They have the right to refuse. If they do, accept that and go through the testing as required.

I'm a healthcare professional and I have been stuck with contaminated needles many times over the years. Only once can I recall that the subject patient refused to be tested. That was their choice. I went through the testing as was required by my employer and everything was fine.

Do not attempt to keep this incident a secret. It's no shame to be accidentally stuck or otherwise exposed to body fluids. It happens to every healthcare worker at some point. Take responsibility, report it and do what is required.

In the medical field, EVERYONE is considered contaminated...no matter what. ALL body fluids are considered to be contaminated no matter who they came from.


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