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kg062007

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I just got a job interview for a research tech position in HIV research. However, im a little worried for obvious reasons. This lab works with live HIV viruses, an in the email she said "We will be doing blood assays" Im 24 and have my entire life ahead of me.
 

flatearth22

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I just got a job interview for a research tech position in HIV research. However, im a little worried for obvious reasons. This lab works with live HIV viruses, an in the email she said "We will be doing blood assays" Im 24 and have my entire life ahead of me.

:laugh: at GenY'ers believing this with the current state of the economy and boomers getting ready to hoard all the resources and money. The best part of your life was spent playing GoldenEye and trading baseball cards in the glorious 90's.
 

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Then don't poke yourself.

They will explain risks and what they do to minimize them during your interview. I promise you won't be the only person to have ever expressed concern about working with HIV.

At least you know going IN that there is live HIV around. Wait until you see patients and you have no idea. MUCH more terrifying.
 
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That's why you'll be taking a lot of preventative precautions.

As suggested above, do you not think that as a doctor you wont have patients with HIV? Because you will, and even worse you might not even know it.

I used to work as a phlebotomist and did loads of HIV tests. Use precaution, follow the rules, you'll be fine. If you are pricked by a needle, there are pills you can take.
 

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At least you know going IN that there is live HIV around. Wait until you see patients and you have no idea. MUCH more terrifying.

In medicine you are going to assume every patient has HIV and Hep C. Many do. In some specialties and populations they all do. Not sure this is any different. You take precautions. If you fear work involving HIV and other bloodborne viruses, I'm not sure how you are going to make it through med school and residency.
 

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That's why you'll be taking a lot of preventative precautions.

As suggested above, do you not think that as a doctor you wont have patients with HIV? Because you will, and even worse you might not even know it.

I used to work as a phlebotomist and did loads of HIV tests. Use precaution, follow the rules, you'll be fine. If you are pricked by a needle, there are pills you can take.

+1. People get concerned when pts have known HIV, HCV, etc but forget the loads of undiagnosed cases.
 

gettheleadout

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:laugh: at GenY'ers believing this with the current state of the economy and boomers getting ready to hoard all the resources and money. The best part of your life was spent playing GoldenEye and trading baseball cards in the glorious 90's.
I believe you mean Pokémon cards. I also believe you're a little cynical here.
 

drizzt3117

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I just got a job interview for a research tech position in HIV research. However, im a little worried for obvious reasons. This lab works with live HIV viruses, an in the email she said "We will be doing blood assays" Im 24 and have my entire life ahead of me.

It's really dangerous. That's why there was an opening and they're interviewing you. The last lab worker probably stuck themselves and died of da' AIDS. Good luck.
 

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Depends. If by "research" you mean "going down church street, lookin' for some tricks" then yes, that kind of scholarly activity is very perilous.
 

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:laugh: at GenY'ers believing this with the current state of the economy and boomers getting ready to hoard all the resources and money. The best part of your life was spent playing GoldenEye and trading baseball cards in the glorious 90's.

Amen. I would give anything to go back to those days. I won't even get pissed at my dick friend running around with the golden gun as Oddjob this time.
 

calvnandhobbs68

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I just got a job interview for a research tech position in HIV research. However, im a little worried for obvious reasons. This lab works with live HIV viruses, an in the email she said "We will be doing blood assays" Im 24 and have my entire life ahead of me.

Not if you get hit by a car next week.
 

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i would assume that unless you borrow some needles from the lab to shoot up with, youll be fine
 
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As other posters have said, there are going to many patients carrying various bloodborne pathogens who you'll likely interact with in the future. The same rules that will apply then apply now. Follow the standard precaution guidelines, wear PPE, and BE HYPERVIGILANT whenever you're working with (potentially) infectious materials.
 

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In the event of a finger stick, prophylaxis shortly after the event has an amazing prevention rate. I personally would not volunteer for an HIV vaccine trial, but I would definitely have no problem working in the laboratory.
 

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I work in an HIV research lab and it really isn't a big deal.

Regardless, there are worse things to worry about than contracting HIV.
 

sportsperson

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I just got a job interview for a research tech position in HIV research. However, im a little worried for obvious reasons. This lab works with live HIV viruses, an in the email she said "We will be doing blood assays" Im 24 and have my entire life ahead of me.

we have living viruses now? :D

lol but you'll be fine.. just dont poke yourself with anything.

Then don't poke yourself.

They will explain risks and what they do to minimize them during your interview. I promise you won't be the only person to have ever expressed concern about working with HIV.

At least you know going IN that there is live HIV around. Wait until you see patients and you have no idea. MUCH more terrifying.

Nothing concerning about seeing patients with HIV at all. Besides surgery, nothing else is of concern because:

- HIV cannot survive in open air (blood, semen, etc.)
- HIV is not found in feces (rectal exams)
- Impossible to get it through environmental factors
 

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That's why you'll be taking a lot of preventative precautions.

As suggested above, do you not think that as a doctor you wont have patients with HIV? Because you will, and even worse you might not even know it.

I used to work as a phlebotomist and did loads of HIV tests. Use precaution, follow the rules, you'll be fine. If you are pricked by a needle, there are pills you can take.

At least in the lab where I work, no sharps of any sort are ever allowed in the 2+ room for obvious reasons. But still, with taking all the precautionary measures for lab safety (and the additional measures for accidental exposures), the overall contraction rate for researchers is hugely tiny.

OP, you'll have those queasy feelings the first time you're actually working with the virus, but just stay cool :cool:
 

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In the event of a finger stick, prophylaxis shortly after the event has an amazing prevention rate. I personally would not volunteer for an HIV vaccine trial, but I would definitely have no problem working in the laboratory.

PEP is highly undesired given the very harsh side effects that can follow.
PEP given for blood exposure would also be stronger (3 drugs I believe given the higher viral load vs. other exposures).
But anyway, the odds of contracting HIV after being stuck by a needle is 0.3%. Hepatitis C is 3% while Hepatitis B is ~30% (though we should all be vaccinated anyway).
 
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Law2Doc

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Nothing concerning about seeing patients with HIV at all. Besides surgery, nothing else is of concern because:

- HIV cannot survive in open air (blood, semen, etc.)
- HIV is not found in feces (rectal exams)
- Impossible to get it through environmental factors

well, considering blood and semen can be found on rectal exam, I have to wonder how certain we can be about your second point. I'd still double glove with a known HIVer..
 

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I just got a job interview for a research tech position in HIV research. However, im a little worried for obvious reasons. This lab works with live HIV viruses, an in the email she said "We will be doing blood assays" Im 24 and have my entire life ahead of me.

It's a regulatory thing.

The HIV in the lab is probably the least likely thing there to kill you.
 

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well, considering blood and semen can be found on rectal exam, I have to wonder how certain we can be about your second point. I'd still double glove with a known HIVer..

In what quantity? Is this body fluid/blood fairly dried out? If so then the virus is not active anymore (HIV regardless of the viral load is 100% inactive once it is dried out, in lower/average viral loads, simple exposure to air would get it done).

As well, consider the fact that you would need an open cut on your hand to come in contact with hiv infected blood. Otherwise, contraction of the virus is simply impossible, even in a theoritical sense.
 

johnnydrama

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well, considering blood and semen can be found on rectal exam, I have to wonder how certain we can be about your second point. I'd still double glove with a known HIVer..

Why worry about HIV? I'd be much more concerned by Hepatitis C. Far less treatable and far more infectious.

Not sure how valid this actually is, but the rule of 3's we learned for needle sticks was:

HIV - 0.3%
HCV - 3%
HBV - 30%

Glad there's a vaccine for HBV.
 

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Why worry about HIV? I'd be much more concerned by Hepatitis C. Far less treatable and far more infectious.

Not sure how valid this actually is, but the rule of 3's we learned for needle sticks was:

HIV - 0.3%
HCV - 3%
HBV - 30%

Glad there's a vaccine for HBV.
Those stats are pretty accurate but I'm fairly sure it's for hollow bore needles (so we can put the maximum theoritical risk at those percentages).

HIV is more of a concern than HepC because HIV can lead to AIDS -> death in varying time spans. Before HAART it would progress very quickly so of course it was a major death sentence. After HAART and some improvements, it became a delayed/slower death sentence. But now in 2012 being diagnosed with HIV (as long as it's not a late diagnosis/person is naturally healthy) then chances are they will never die of AIDS complications (vaccines/treatments are on a close horizon).
 

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And HCV can't lead to death?!?

I've seen more patients die of HCC than AIDs related illnesses.
 

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And HCV can't lead to death?!?

I've seen more patients die of HCC than AIDs related illnesses.
Statistically, HIV/AIDS kills more per infected patients (it is a 100% death sentence without treatment unless you're a LTNP - long term non progressor). The difference is that HIV will lead to death vs. HCV can lead to death.

The reason you've seen more patients die of HCV than HIV is because HCV is much more common and much more infectious than HIV.
 

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Why worry about HIV? I'd be much more concerned by Hepatitis C. Far less treatable and far more infectious.

Not sure how valid this actually is, but the rule of 3's we learned for needle sticks was:

HIV - 0.3%
HCV - 3%
HBV - 30%

Glad there's a vaccine for HBV.

Sucks with those of us who are non responders for HBV. I've done 2 rounds of the 3 shot course plus 2 single shot boosters and no titer.
 

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Statistically, HIV/AIDS kills more per infected patients (it is a 100% death sentence without treatment unless you're a LTNP - long term non progressor). The difference is that HIV will lead to death vs. HCV can lead to death.

The reason you've seen more patients die of HCV than HIV is because HCV is much more common and much more infectious than HIV.

And lets not forget, you know, our superior ability to suppress HIV. :D
 
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mmmcdowe

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PEP is highly undesired given the very harsh side effects that can follow.
PEP given for blood exposure would also be stronger (3 drugs I believe given the higher viral load vs. other exposures).
But anyway, the odds of contracting HIV after being stuck by a needle is 0.3%. Hepatitis C is 3% while Hepatitis B is ~30% (though we should all be vaccinated anyway).

I'll take the PEP over that 0.3%.
 

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Statistically, HIV/AIDS kills more per infected patients (it is a 100% death sentence without treatment unless you're a LTNP - long term non progressor). The difference is that HIV will lead to death vs. HCV can lead to death.

The reason you've seen more patients die of HCV than HIV is because HCV is much more common and much more infectious than HIV.

With HAART, the morbidity we're seeing these days for HIV is mainly due to non-compliance (or drug side effects).

So considering both the relative infectivity and the availability of treatment, if someone handed me two needles (one with HCV and one with HIV) and held a gun to my head forcing me to stick myself with one, I'd choose HIV.

HIV is no longer a death sentence.
 

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With HAART, the morbidity we're seeing these days for HIV is mainly due to non-compliance (or drug side effects).

So considering both the relative infectivity and the availability of treatment, if someone handed me two needles (one with HCV and one with HIV) and held a gun to my head forcing me to stick myself with one, I'd choose HIV.

HIV is no longer a death sentence.

That statement is only logical, assuming the diagnosis was made in a timely fashion. If the diagnosis is made late after their CD4s have crashed and they're in the hospital and diagnosed with AIDS..... then no HAART wont give them a normal lifespan. Or if their diagnosis is generally made after significant damage is done, HAART wont save them by much.

You're probably right about choosing HIV vs. HCV, but there is no guarantee a cure will be available soon. And the quality of life of HIV patients does suffer to a greater degree than HCV patients from many angles.
 

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I believe you mean Pokémon cards. I also believe you're a little cynical here.
LOL Pokemon cards came out in the very late 90s but were mainly in 2000's. If they were part of your childhood, you're still a baby and not a true product of the 90s.
 

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Nothing concerning about seeing patients with HIV at all. Besides surgery, nothing else is of concern because:

- HIV cannot survive in open air (blood, semen, etc.)
- HIV is not found in feces (rectal exams)
- Impossible to get it through environmental factors

Ok, then you do your next DRE on an HIV patient bare gloved. If you're truly a medical student, you should realize not everything is seen by the naked eye. Are hemoccult tests done just for fun? Maybe we shouldn't use gloves either for vaginal exams.

The point is, until the virus is dessicated you are at risk. Even so, I'm not going to play with dried blood or other secretions.
 

johnnydrama

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Ok, then you do your next DRE on an HIV patient bare gloved. If you're truly a medical student, you should realize not everything is seen by the naked eye. Are hemoccult tests done just for fun? Maybe we shouldn't use gloves either for vaginal exams.

The point is, until the virus is dessicated you are at risk. Even so, I'm not going to play with dried blood or other secretions.

Have you ever tried to keep HIV alive? It's tough to do. It wants to die, it's not even very good at reproducing itself. You're acting like you could get it from a toilet seat.

The danger is in the latent infection that never goes away (because it's integrated into your genome) and the high mutation rate. The virus itself is a weakling.
 

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Have you ever tried to keep HIV alive? It's tough to do. It wants to die, it's not even very good at reproducing itself. You're acting like you could get it from a toilet seat.

The danger is in the latent infection that never goes away (because it's integrated into your genome) and the high mutation rate. The virus itself is a weakling.

His point was, in his words, you do not have to worry about it beyond surgery when there are regular office procedures where you can potentially be exposed: DRE, pelvic exams, glucose checks, immunizations, venipuncture. He is being too lighthearted about the wholw thing claiming you only have to worry if you are doing surgery.
 

johnnydrama

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His point was, in his words, you do not have to worry about it beyond surgery when there are regular office procedures where you can potentially be exposed: DRE, pelvic exams, glucose checks, immunizations, venipuncture. He is being too lighthearted about the wholw thing claiming you only have to worry if you are doing surgery.

You only have to worry if you have broken skin or are working with sharps. And even if something were to go wrong, the odds of transmission on any given exposure are still very low.
 

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I just got a job interview for a research tech position in HIV research. However, im a little worried for obvious reasons. This lab works with live HIV viruses, an in the email she said "We will be doing blood assays" Im 24 and have my entire life ahead of me.

So you're just dealing with the virus in blood and in the lab? Not with patients? Don't worry at all. There are tons of precautions and you're in a very controlled environment. The only thing that scares me about HIV or Hep C is having a combative or confused patient who tested positive. They can throw a wrench into an otherwise airtight system. You won't have this issue in the lab.
 

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:laugh: at GenY'ers believing this with the current state of the economy and boomers getting ready to hoard all the resources and money. The best part of your life was spent playing GoldenEye and trading baseball cards in the glorious 90's.

Dude.... Pokemon's still out.
 

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If you're not careful there's a lot in bench research that is dangerous.

You can prick yourself with a needle and get HIV, yes, but if you do any kind of tissue histology you're exposing yourself to at least a handful of mutagens. Wear gloves and be careful with syringes.
 

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LOL Pokemon cards came out in the very late 90s but were mainly in 2000's. If they were part of your childhood, you're still a baby and not a true product of the 90s.


Meh... triage is right.. pokemon (and dragonball z) were the turn of the 90s/2000s.

The trading card game of the 90s was Magic The Gathering.

90s was also pogs.

800px-Pog_Collection.jpg


And giga pets/Tomagotchis...

screen-shot-2011-02-08-at-6-53-54-pm.png


And push pops, koosh balls, mortal combat, and Legends of the Hidden Temple...


I sorrow for 15 years from now when the nostalgic icons of the "good old days" will be Justin Beiber, tebowing, hipster tight jeans, modern warfare/TF2, and whatever other garbage is in right now... :thumbdown:
 

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well, considering blood and semen can be found on rectal exam, I have to wonder how certain we can be about your second point. I'd still double glove with a known HIVer..

Double gloving makes gloves more likely to break doesn't it?
 

johnnydrama

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If you're not careful there's a lot in bench research that is dangerous.

You can prick yourself with a needle and get HIV, yes, but if you do any kind of tissue histology you're exposing yourself to at least a handful of mutagens. Wear gloves and be careful with syringes.

Yup, I'd be more worried about electricity, chemicals, and possibly radioactivity in the lab than HIV.
 
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