Risk of HIV After being Bitten is Low

The three metropolitan civil guards bitten by a man during a fight in the region of Cracolandia, central Sao Paulo, will have to take drugs for 30 days, as the aggressor is HIV and hepatitis.

The tests showed that the man was not treated, which makes his viral load high. Even so, the risk of transmission of the HIV virus is considered low in these cases.

“Several factors can interfere with the risk of HIV transmission. Studies have estimated, on average, that the risk of HIV transmission is 0.3% in percutaneous accidents and 0.09% after mucosal exposures,” says the Ministry. of Health in the Manual of Conducts on Occupational Exposure to Biological Material.

Even so, the infectious physician Raquel Muarrek Garcia, from Rede D’Or, says that the protocol adopted in Brazil is to do prophylaxis.

“Any risk, even if it is 0.01%, is pertinent to you taking prophylaxis.”

Treatment in these cases is by oral medication called PEP (Post-Exposure Risk Prophylaxis), which should be started within 72 hours of contact with blood or mucosa.

According to Raquel, the new type of antiretroviral medicine used in Brazil has few side effects. After 30 days of medication, further blood tests are required.

Regarding hepatitis, type B is the most at risk of transmission, ranging from 37% to 62% when the so-called source patient has serological evidence of carrying the virus, according to the Ministry of Health.

Exposure to hepatitis B virus requires injection of hepatitis B hyperimmune immunoglobulin within 24 to 48 hours after the accident.

The infectious disease specialist adds that accidents with sharp objects such as needles or even cases of bite in the emergency room are common. All cases, he points out, go through “a classification of the need for prophylaxis.”

It is important not to take more than 48 hours to find a hospital. If necessary, treatment is offered free of charge by SUS.