Hi, I am quite worried about an injection I was given yesterday. I got a contrast dye injected in my arm from a young male nurse and while he was doing this he used gloves. When the needle was taken out however, he was not using any gloves and held the little cigarette stub shaped piece of cotton wool just in his fingers before pressing it onto the entry in my arm to stop the bleeding. I don’t know if he had any wounds on his hands but I am quite concerned now that I could have been infected with HIV on this way, especially as the young guy was from Zimbabwe where they have quite high HIV rates. Would you recommend for me to seek antiretroviral treatment or anything? I am not sure if I am exaggerating.
Most clinicians, including nurses, have the habit of regualrly washing hands with antiseptic soaps between each patient. When we use gloves, we do it for our own protection.
In any case, I think you are slightly overreacting! You are not going to become infected with HIV this way: the piece of cotton wool was in between and he would need to have obvious blood coming out of a wound (and he would need to be positive, which statistically, even coming from Zimbabwe, is not the majority). Too many factors!! Health care workers in the UK have to disclose their status and if positive, they are not usually involved in procedures that could contaminate patients.
You are perfectly fine. Forget about it!
HIV and hepatitis B and C positive healthworkers are allowed in the UK to function as healthworkers - and absolutely correctly so.
There is no risk to anyone else through being in the presence of an HIV, Hep B or Hep C positive person.
Healthworkers in the UK are required to notify their status to an occupational health department and to be under the care of an appropriate doctor who will guide them as to which procedures are possible and which not.
You do not need to worry about risks of infection from being given an injection etc by an HIV or Hepatitis B or C positive healthworker.