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HomeAnswersHIV/AIDS specialisthivCan I get HIV after flu shots?

Is there a risk of getting HIV after flu shot?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At October 12, 2016
Reviewed AtDecember 19, 2023

Patient's Query

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 (Human Immunodefiency Virus) 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 candiate for post- exposure prophylaxsis.because of extremely low risk associated with exposure.

Patient's Query

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 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) 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.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Atishay Bukharia
Dr. Atishay Bukharia


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