The immediate actions after accidental exposure to HIV actually means for reducing contact time between infected fluid and host body tissues.

So if someone got injury by infected needle, infected OT instruments and sharps, the management is as follow:

  1. Wash the place of exposure with soap and plenty of water as soon as possible.
  2. Allow the blood to flow freely from wound by holding the suspected body surface under running water for at least 10-15 minutes.
  3. Apply disinfectant gel(weak disinfectant)
  4. Don’t use irritating agents like alcohol, iodine, methylated spirit etc, as they may cause further consequences in the wound.
  5. Rubbing or compression of the damaged surface should be avoided.
  6. Never use the general technique of blood sucking by mouth, though this technique is somewhat fruitfull in snake poisoning cases.
  7. Consulting within 72 hours after exposure.


The risk in a single time exposure to HIV source is generally estimated as low, but it may vary depending on the type and intensity of exposure i.e the risk in HIV infection by sexual violence may be greater than in voluntary sexual acts as trauma increases the risk. High risk are found in certain group of people, these are;

  1. Homosexuals
  2. People who shares needles and syringes
  3. Hospital staff who are in very close contact with patients


Here are some cases for single exposure risk in %


Blood transfusion     93

Mother to child transmission     20-30

Through used needles and syringes   0.8

Contact with mucous membrane    0.1

Vaginal intercourse;

For men   0.05

For women   0.01-0.1

While passive partners are at more risk than active partners in other sexual acts.


Most patients experience flu-like symptoms within first two weeks of exposure, which disappear within next two weeks. After that HIV may not cause any symptoms for many years, while the virus still continues the potent effect of destructing body immune system. That’s why many people with HIV even don’t  know that they are infected. This is the actual reason that the regular body check up is always suggested even in the healthiest people.

The most common symptoms include;

  1. Sore throat, white plaques on the tongue which can be easily removable.
  2. Raised body temperature.
  3. Musculoskeletal problems i.e pain in joints and muscles.
  4. Body rashes and tiredness
  5. Swollen glands.

If a person has several of these symptoms, also he is aware of being living with HIV risks, he should get HIV test. The test samples includes suspected blood or saliva. Other body fluids containing HIV virus includes semen, vaginal and anal fluid, breast milk.

Once HIV severely damage the immune system of a person, then symptoms may include weight loss, chronic diarrhea, night sweats recurrent infections and very serious illnesses.

U=U;  (undetectable=untransmittable)

If HIV infected people taking effective treatment and if virus has been undetectable for 6 months, they cannot pass the HIV virus through sex. This is called undetectable=untransmittable.


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He is owner of this website. He is MBBS student in Bannu Medical College, Khyber Medical University Pakistan.


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