Dear sir/madam Recently I went fishing and while doing


Q: Dear sir/madam. Recently I went fishing and while doing so I had a fish hook injury that went into my hand. Shortly after it happened (minutes) I was told by someone that the same fish hook punctured them in the hand as well. I do not recall seeing any visible blood on the hook when it punctured me, but I am one worried that an infection such as HIV may be possible. The other person involved is not know to me therefore I am not sure of their HIV status. Therefore should I get tested? Is there a significant risk? Kind regards


A:   Hello,
Thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,
If you have accidentally pricked yourself with the fish hook while fishing and you learnt that another person whose HIV status is unknown to you happened to face similar injury with the same hook some time back, then you should understand that it is very unlikely that you would be transmitted with an HIV virus or get infected. This is because HIV dies in open-air very quickly – within a few moments. So, if there was HIV on the tip of the hook, and it got poked through your skin and into your bloodstream, it’s probably already dead and unable to infect you. But another important concern, which you should stay alert to in tetanus. You must get an injection tetanus toxoid 0.5cc IM after this episode if you have not been immunized in last 3 years as such injuries may cause tetanus if not HIV.
But even though the chances are minimal there is no harm getting tested for it to allay ones anxiety. The earliest you can test is after 12 days of exposure with a HIV RNA PCR test or NAAT( nucleic acid amplification test) test for HIV which can detect the viral rna in the blood if HIV is present or not and accordingly the result.
The risk involved following a needle prick from an infected HIV person is only 0.3 per cent and in your case it would be way lesser as the hook was not stained and not recently injured anyone withing 1-2 hrs. So chances are minimal, but you may get the test for putting rest your anxiety associated.
I hope i have answered your query in detail,
Wishing you good health,

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