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  • Please Clarify

    Hello Dr. Tan. I would like to ask some questions from you. I hope you'll be able to help me.

    1. I went for a blood test at a hospital here in my country (not Singapore) 16 days ago. I didn't think about it that much during that time but after drawing my blood, the nurse capped the needle that she used with the pink cap that came with the needle, but instead of throwing it in the sharps container, she moved to the other cubicle and came back without the needle. It was a busy day at the hospital that day and because of this scenario, I started thinking what if she didn't use a new needle to draw my blood. What is the chance of transfer if the needle was reused?

    2. About 2 weeks after this, I had a headache together with a red bump on my chest. I also felt scratchiness in my throat that became a slight pinch. Do these look like symptoms?

    3. I want to get a test to make sure. It's been mentioned that a 4th generation test is conclusive at 28 days but will a test at 19-20 days have any value? I actually wanted to get a test today but it's only been 16 days and I'm thinking that a test this early might be too soon.

    Please help me by answering my questions, Dr. Tan. I would really appreciate it.

  • #2
    Hi and thank you for the question

    1. According to various guidelines, sharing of needles with a HIV +ve person during intravenous drug use carries a HIV risk of less than 1%.

    2. No they do not sound like typical HIV ARS symptoms

    3. The 4th Gen test at 20 days is already very predictive although not 100% accurate.

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    • #3
      Thank you, Dr. Tan, for the quick response. I appreciate it. Just a follow-up question though. The scenario I described wasn't needles for IV drug use. It was a vacutainer needle for a blood draw at a hospital. Is the less than 1% still applicable for this scenario? Please respond to my follow-up question. Thank you.

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