If a person is accidentally injected with blood from an HIV+ person, is there a treatment option that can keep the person from developing an HIV infection?

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    $\begingroup$ Is this a serious question.. ? $\endgroup$ – Macedon93 Aug 30 '15 at 2:48
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    $\begingroup$ I must add that it is not possible to save someone by sucking venom from a bite. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Aug 30 '15 at 5:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Macedon93 I don't think this comment will help the OP in any way. The comment might actually feel a little offensive. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 30 '15 at 6:20
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the spirit of this question, Is there a way to prevent an HIV infection after exposure to HIV infected bodily fluid, is a valid one that deserves an answer. $\endgroup$ – AMR Aug 30 '15 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Macedon93 and March Ho's comments refer to the question in its unedited form and are out of context with the edited form of the question. Look at the edits to see the question in its original state. $\endgroup$ – AMR Aug 30 '15 at 18:05

The standard protocol for treating a healthcare worker that accidentally comes in contact with HIV infected body fluid is to receive HAART treatment.

HAART is an acronym that stands for Highly Active AntiRetroviral Therapy, and is a multi-drug cocktail that acts on a number of pathways to block the HIV virus from replicating.

  • There are early inhibitors which seek to block the binding of gp120 to CD4/CCR5.

  • There are Nucleoside analogs that are able to block the activity of Reverse Transcriptase.

  • There are Reverse Transcriptase inhibitors that can bind to allosteric sites on the enzyme, thereby effecting its ability to catalyze the reaction which produces the viral cDNA.

  • There are protease inhibitors which inhibit the viruses ability to make the necessary post-translational modifications, thereby causing the viral proteins to be non-functional, as they are produced from a single, long mRNA transcript.


This is the link to the CDC guidelines from prophylactic treatment for occupational exposure to HIV. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5409.pdf with an update to the guidelines here http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/20711

After confirmed exposure to HIV infected bodily fluid, it is recommended that HAART begin as soon as possible after exposure, that toxicity be monitored, and that the treatment be continued for 4 weeks.

The recommendations weigh the toxicity of HAART with the HIV status of the person. Even in cases where the status is not known, but the risk factors of the source are low, HAART is often not recommended.

Note that post-infection prophylaxis is less effective than preventing exposure in the first place. That is why barrier protection during intercourse (in the general case), proper handling of sharps, screening of the blood supply, and barrier protection to mucous membrane for healthcare workers is vitally important in preventing an HIV infection from taking hold.

These are the CDC guidelines for Prophylactic treatment from non-occupational exposure. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5402a1.htm


In the original, unedited question by the OP, they asked

Yes It is possible to save a person when snake bites him, by sucking the poison from the bite region. so sucking AIDS Virus like snake's poison, will he get cured?

I do not know the answer to this question, nor do I think that there would be any published information regarding the efficacy of trying to suck out HIV infected blood, but given the nature of the virus and how a subcutaneous injection works, I think it is safe to say that it is highly doubtful that attempting to prevent the infection in this way would be an effective treatment option.

Also note, as March Ho stated in the comments, attempting to suck the venom of a snake bite from a wound is an ineffective method of treatment as well.

  • $\begingroup$ This seems an excellent answer to the question after you edited it! You might want to make sure to address the OP's point of whether one could get HIV viruses out by sucking the blood. +1 in the meantime $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 30 '15 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b Better? I actually think that this is an important question to have on the SE, not necessarily in its original form, but in the spirit of the question; can something be done in the event of accidental exposure to HIV. I actually wonder if HAART is offered prophylactically to victims of sexual assault and rape. I was familiar with the protocol for healthcare workers and accidental exposure, but don't know what the standards are to victims of a crime. $\endgroup$ – AMR Aug 30 '15 at 6:36
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, perfect! Thnks $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 30 '15 at 6:43

AMR's answer is excellent and deserves praise. I only want to add that, scientifically (NOT therapeutically) there may be other ways to prevent infection. A Nature letter from 2012 examined the role migratory T-cells play in HIV infection. They used a drug, FTY720, also known as fingolimod, which essentially kept lymphocytes from moving out of lymph nodes. In a humanized mouse model, use of the drug limited infection, providing evidence that infection could be potentially halted if caught quickly enough before disseminating systemically.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you Amory, I appreciate your evaluation and insight. The Nature article is interesting. Then again the mechanisms that HIV uses to infect us are pretty astounding as well; even to pulling down CD4 receptors off of infected cells so they will not interfere with gp120 in the viral envelope as they bud off. I think that I will follow the motto of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. $\endgroup$ – AMR Aug 31 '15 at 1:39

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