A very concerning and unfortunate incident arose yesterday when a client contacted me.
This person had unknowingly been exposed to the HI virus in the middle of last year (2014), when an individual cut themselves badly and the client had an open wound at the time which was not well covered.
The infected person only informed my client when they, themselves, found out recently, so we are talking in the region of a six (6) month gap.
Prior to contacting me, he/she went to their GP who decided to test, rightly so, by doing the Elisa Test, which is by drawing blood rather than the Rapid Test which is a finger prick, returning a result in 10/20 min the Elisa was sent to a laboratory, results back late afternoon.
The Doctor decided in the interim, that as a safety precaution the client should commence taking the 30 day treatment of Prophylactics.
Th client obviously hit a panic and subsequently made contact with me.
Sadly the time-span had elapsed, as you only have a 72 hour period post exposure to potentially prevent yourself becoming infected.
I was horrified but ecstatic that someone had advised him/her to make contact with me as they were understandably in a state of panic.
After explaining, reassuring and sharing as much information as I could, it was now a matter of waiting……….
Dear Doctor…..how stupid can you be, this person is given false hope as you were either not paying attention to the time frame or you are seriously careless, unacceptable!!
Fortunately a negative result came back, it’s one of the times you don’t want anyone to say “you are Positive’!
I made contact with the client and asked permission to share this incident as I believe there is still so much unknown and misinformation in the market place and when it comes from a ‘trusted source’ like a medical person, even more scary.
I have obviously kept the persons name and the area out of the post as it is a confidential matter.
I have however posted the comment he/she shared with me later today when I followed up. it reads as follows:
2/10/2015 16:32: Cindy Pivacic HIV: I hope you have recovered from your ordeal.
Client: ‘Thanks.. I am, it’s an experience that I will never forget. I have a new understanding and respect for being “tested”. It’s an overwhelming experience. My body truly ached with the tension and waiting for my results was daunting.
The nurse that took my blood was great! She actually stopped and asked if I was ok… she was really caring which calmed me a little.
I know now that I truly don’t know enough. And I thought that I did. #embarrassed
Thanks again for your advice and support… u spoke sense and also what the next step was if I was positive and that life does go on and it can be done. U say it with confidence, and that’s what made me feel ok’.
2/10/2015 16:44: Cindy Pivacic HIV: So glad that you are in a better space, it’s not a pleasant experience at all and glad I could be of assistance. I am sure you will become a great advocate getting people to get counselled prior to testing 😉
Client: 2/10/2015 16:47: ‘THANKS. .. I definitely will. I will be passing it on where I work.