[Question #1713] if you sat on needle would you know it hiv clinic

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87 months ago

hello dr hunter .hopefully a nice sunny day for you and maybe you can help me with my irrational thought if you can bare with me so here goes

i went to hiv clinic(small office ) for some counseling . first time i think i didn't need to . it was in very average condition as it was globally funded .

i sat with the person who greeted me with open arms and asked me if i wanted to have a test and what were my concerns . he was very polite i was already in a negative state of mind and had some sort of needle phobia before.  he offered me tea

and then said he is HIV positive and staff working here is also hiv positive . so that we all help  & understand people with hiv .

i don't know what happened i was having tea and my heart beat got fast . i got really nervous . Because it was a low budget clinic very low but they seemed to have big hearts .  i wanted to leave asap without showing that im insulting them  . coming to the point i said my farewell

i got out and i felt some pinching on the right buttcheeks of mine.  i only sat on the COUCH and one chair

my irrational question is as follows

q1 if there was needle in the couch i would have felt it?

q2. i had pants on and underwear also  so it would have to penetrate my clothing i would have felt immense pain ?

q3) has there anyone been infected with hiv before like this by sitting on needle with through clothing in history?

q4 out of panic i did examine my body when i went home i had some spots on my right butt cheeks i think i had them before and that could have been the cause of ithcing would my butt cheeks have bled or left a huge wound if there was needle in the couch ?

q5 im only nervous because there hiv positive and if they wanted to harm me with a needle I would have 100 percent notice ?

q6 is this urban myth?

im scared im sorry I wont visit this places again . I was just trying to take some help and instead they fueled it more


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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
87 months ago
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your question. FYI (mostly for other users) it is only by chance I am replying. Dr. Hook and I take questions in sequence, paying no attention to requests for one or the other.

I'm glad you reccognize that your thoughts and fears are irrational. I agree. First, there is no chance an experienced HIV test site would handle its injection equipment in anything other than a professional, entirely safe manner -- thus no chance a used needle to draw blood would be in the furniture. And nobody in the world has ever caught HIV through this mechanism, or from being in an HIV test center. You won't be the first. To your specific questions:

1) Yes, of course you would feel a needle injury, especially one deep enough to result in HIV transmission.

2) Needles rarely cuase "immense" pain, but you would have known.

3) This is not known to have ever happened, anywhere in the world among the millions of people who caught HIV in the 40 year known worldwide AIDS epidemic.

4) Almost certainly you would have seen and recognized an obvious needle wound.

5) This implies you're worried someone might have intentionally tried to infect you in this manner. This is nonsense on the face of it.

6) Not sure what urban myth you're talking about.

Presumably you are at true risk of HIV (sexually?), or you wouldn't have gone to the testing center in the first place. If you are sexually at risk, this whole question is like a race car driver worried about dying from a lightning strike. Be sure you have only safe sex; and you need to be tested for HIV. But not because of this visit to the clinic.

Finally, if thoughts like this continue, you'll need professional counseling. These are not normal thoughts and fears and suggest a potentially serious emotional/psychological condition. I suggest it from compassion, not criticism.

Best wishes and stay safe--  HHH, MD

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87 months ago

Yes I did have risk 3months ago was tested for all stds but I think I'm overthinking.


No doctor has given me the reply as you have .


in 40years nobody has gotten HIV by sitting on a needle with clothing is best thing ever you could have said to me .some doctors said it could be a risk .thank you for reassurance.


Q1) May I know why this has never happened in 40years?


I would like to use my follow up question which has one more irrational question and one on ars


I went to clinic to have HIV test via winged infusion (double pointed needle tube) they use a vaccutainer   The nurse had latex gloves on


Q2) if nurse would touch the needle tip of the needle with latex gloves would that bring any blood on the needle from her ,she drew blood from me would that be a risk ?


Q3) do gloves prevent needle stick and did there have to be significant amount of blood on needle from her finger if she did pric to put me at risk for HIV?


Simple terms irrational fear that nurse pricked her finger with gloves and proceeded to blood draw from my vein . Please give facts on this matter.




if I assume from 10 to 20 days exposure  I have no ars such as fever ,full body rash and extreme sour throat and lymph nodes . Can I safely move on ?


Q4 when do ars appear and how long do they stay for ?


Q5 something would happen to me in next 20days if this was risk correct like I would have full body rash ?


I have sour throat only because of smoking lasted only a day and got better the next day .

I'm asking this because if I don’t have ars I I will simply move on that would help and won't test



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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
87 months ago
1) Probably needles are rarely dropped in public places, especially in HIV/AIDS counseling centers. It's rare because people don't have such exposures. If they rarely occur, probably not with enough trauma for transmission to occur. This is mostly guesswork, but if it doesn't happen, who cares about the biological reasons? 

2,3) Nobody re-uses needles or other equipment to draw blood, expecially in HIV test centers. Nobody in the world, at least not in the past 40 years, is known to have caught HIV because of how blood was drawn from them. Gloves are used when drawing blood to protect the person doing the procedure from blood exposure, not to protect the patient. The risk to the patient would remain zero if no gloves were worn.

4,5) Symptom onset is usually 10-15 days after exposure. Yes, absence of symptoms 10-20 days later. Symptoms often don't occur at all, but if you have none by 20 days after a sexual exposure, it should increase confidence you weren't infected. For the reasons above, timing in regard to having blood drawn means nothing at all.

So now you have the same answers from me and the doctor you saw. Believe it and move on. All is well.

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87 months ago
thank you thank you

in all honesty this is my 4th month on testing hiv . i did 4th generation test

im sure all of this is just irrational

40 years = needle sitting with clothes = no hiv

40 years= blood draw = no hiv

then i think its over i think i am indeed well !

i am planning to get married this year but guilt on transferring it to someone would be unbearable

have i done enough now ?

if you were in this position .these are now no risk situations im sure since you have read my fears which have fallen tremendously.  LOOKING at all of my fears

i showed you would EVER RECOMMENED ME TO TEST AGAIN IF YOU HAD A DOUBT ?. or i should just move on and can start thinking about marriage .

if i ever test based on these risks i just mentioned i will be  hiv negative ? . i have a feeling im just paranoid and thank you for telling me I AM WELL

thank you doctor  your final word

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
87 months ago
"im sure all of this is just irrational".  Yes, it is.

"i should just move on and can start thinking about marriage" and "I AM WELL".  Yes. You do not have HIV and you do not mention any activities or exposures that would put you at risk. I have to suspect there is an underlying emotional/psychological problem; your thinking on all this definitely is not normal. You might consider professional counseling, certainly before getting involved in a relationship intended to lead to marriage. I suggest it from compassion, not criticism.

That indeed is my final word, and completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so ends this thread. Best wishes to you.