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Q. Is there a risk of getting HIV after flu shot?

Answered by
Dr. Atishay Bukharia
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 12, 2016 and last reviewed on: Sep 17, 2020

Hi doctor,

Yesterday, I had my flu shot. The tables were lined with individual syringe shot packages. The lady was not wearing gloves. She swiped my arm, gave the shot and said that I bled a little. She picked up a small piece of tissue like paper and pressed it on me for a few moments. She did not have any cuts or blood on her hands to my knowledge. But now, I got to worrying if I could have gotten HIV from this. What if she had blood from someone else on her finger? Please help.me. Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • If she had blood from someone's finger who is HIV positive, then there is a risk. But, such cases are extremely rare. So, I would suggest you not to worry in such hypothetical situation.
  • If she would have blood on her finger, she must have cleaned it with proper measures. Because, being a health care worker, she must know the hazards of having blood directly in contact with the body.
  • According to the guidelines, you are not even a suitable candidate for post-exposure prophylaxis because of extremely low risk associated with exposure.

For further information consult a HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

I did not see any blood on her hands. How long does HIV live outside the body? As I said, she had a piece of tissue paper or small wipe between me and her finger. Do you think I need to get tested? Does the flu vaccine alter HIV tests? I just want to scream. I am so worried and want to put this behind me. Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Although HIV can survive outside the body for hours to weeks depending on the situation, HIV case has not been reported due to spillage of blood. So, I already said that it is an extremely rare situation.
  • I do not think that you need to get tested. No, flu vaccine does not alter HIV test.

Revert back for further doubts to a HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist


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