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Q. What is the risk of HIV from splash of infected serum into eye?

Answered by
Dr. Bharatesh Devendra Basti
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 08, 2020

Hi doctor,

I wanted to ask what is the risk of HIV infection from a possible single spek of serum splash in eye. I work in a lab and I always wear PPE gloves, eye goggles and mask to cover my mouth. A couple of times, I felt something in my eye as I was loading samples but no visible splash occured. No sample was dropped or splashed and there was no seum on goggles either.

On both incidents, I still washed my eye with saline as precaution. I am worried and overthink of this in case a spek of serum found its way to my eye through goggles somehow and I got jnfected with HIV. I wanted to ask what the chances of infection are through this route and do you think I should worry?

I tried to be very careful when handling samples and always wear goggles. If a splash occurs I would have seen serum on my goggles wouldn't I? The goggles were fine under inspection. I have really lost my sleep over this. Maybe I will start wearing a visor on top of my goggles as from next time to enhance protection. Can a single tiny spek in theory pose risk of infection through mucous membrane like eye?

Dr. Bharatesh Devendra Basti

Community Medicine Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Preventive Medicine Venereology
#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

The chances or risk of HIV by invective serum or fluid splash to eye is less than 0.1% I.e 1 in 1000. This is by direct infective fluid contact. You have been using PPE goggles regularly as per the description. If at all there is a splash then it would have been visible on the goggles or PPE, which you would have definitely noticed. It is very unlikely for fluid to get into your eyes with all precautions.

In my opinion, you need not worry about such splashes or incidents. I would congratulate you for taking all precautions. Just continue to follow all these precautions. You can use visor too as additional precautionary measure.


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Thank you doctor,

So it is extremely unlikely as I can see from the numbers less than 0.1%. I will try to relax and forget about it.

Dr. Bharatesh Devendra Basti

Community Medicine Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Preventive Medicine Venereology
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Relax. Forget about the incident. Take all precautions. Be alert and also confident.


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Thank you doctor,

One more thing to ask that I forgot in my previous query. These days I feel very tired and hot all the time especially on face but my body temperature is normal 36.5 C. I am also on my period this week. These symptoms are not related to my worry about HIV, are they?

Dr. Bharatesh Devendra Basti

Community Medicine Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Preventive Medicine Venereology
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It was showing as male 23 years and once 43 years female in my lead query. Now anyway, what is your age? Minor variations in body temperature can be due to diurnal variations, anxiety, stress, work load, environmental changes, menstrual cycles, physical activity, drug intake, etc.

Do not worry about minor changes and do not link everything with HIV. Just relax. Drink adequate water and fluids. Adapt yourself to the environmental variations appropriately.

Do yoga, meditation, physical activities within your comfort. Do not think of HIV for every other symptom.


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Thank you doctor,

I am a 43-year-old female. It feel like as if I have permanent hot flashes for the last five days after my period started. But when checking my body temperature the thermometer shows 36.5. And I feel so tired and sleepy these days.

I think I have an HIV phobia that is why I link every symptom to it. The worst thing is when I read all the info about seroconversion on the internet and I get paranoid. I think I need to stop doing this and trust the doctor.

I suffer from anxiety and it is not helping at the moment. Once a doctor told me that it needs a substantial amount of infected blood for one to get infected and I should not worry over a possible speck that might have splashed in my eye while wearing goggles. It is unlikely. Is it true? I will try to switch my brain on thinking happy things and exercise as you advised me.

Dr. Bharatesh Devendra Basti

Community Medicine Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Preventive Medicine Venereology
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

There are possibilities of menstrual irregularities around the menopausal period for a few individuals. You may have some mood changes, irritability, temperature changes, anxiety especially around this time. Consult your gynecologist if any of the menstrual related symptoms are present. Otherwise relax.

Stop searching about HIV. Internet gives a lot of information which can do more harm than good. Nevertheless, follow all safety precautions at work. If you are fully protected with goggles and shield then there is nothing to worry about HIV.

Indeed it is good for you to forget about HIV and get involved in activities of your interest. You have realized it and sooner you implement it better.


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Related Questions:
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