[Question #2677] Hiv from a bloody note/ cocaine

43 months ago
Hi dr 

Hope you can help? About 9 days I was stupid enough to do cocaine at a party,there was a  few people there I didn't know and I rolled up a piece of paper to snort the coke! I passed it around and I used it again, I notice after there was some blood at the end of the note where someone must of had a nose bleed! I'm worried because I know I scratched the inside of my nose and know my nose was also bleeding! So now I'm worried I can get hiv from it? People has said the virus dies as soon as it leaves the body? But I'm sure it must of been seconds or a minute till I used it after the  person used it! Is it possible I can get it? And if I did how long would I get symptoms? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  We receive a question like this every month or two.  This was a very low but not no risk event.  Here are the facts:

1.  Indeed, there are reports of a case or two in which persons have acquired HIV as a result of sharing straws or other devices to snort cocaine. Such cases however are very rare, so,rare as to be curiosities, The rates are so low, that there are no estimates of risk for such an exposure.
2.  The chances that whomever you shared the straw with had HIV are, statistically, rather low.  Most people do not have HIV, even among persons who use cocaine ( like you)
3.  Even if someone in the group had HIV, most such events/exposures do not result in infection.

So, what should you do.  First, you should not worry, the statistics are very much in your favor and the odds are great that you did not get HIV.
2.  Symptoms are irrelevant.  Most persons who get HIV do not develop symptoms.
3.  Get tested.  At 4 weeks, a combination HIV antigen/antibody test will detect nearly all recent infections and at 6 weeks,results of such a test will be definitive.
4.  Try not to worry.

I hope these comments are helpful.  EWH
---
43 months ago
Thanks, still a chance that's the worrying bit! I thought hiv dies as soon as it leaves the body? So many different info on the net! I'm really worrying now, 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
HIV does die outside of the body.  Depending on the speed of movement, amount of blood etc. there is still a small chance, just as there is a small chance you will be hit by lightening today. Neither of us on this thread has ever seen or had a colleague who acquired HIV in this way. 

If you are going to go to the internet for "information" you are likely to be misled. Too much there is exaggerated, taken out of context or just plain wrong.  EWH
---
42 months ago
It's been 2 weeks now would a test be to soon? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
An RNA PCR test at two weeks is an expensive test but would be defintive at this time.  A combination HIV antigen/antibody test (sometimes called a 4th generation or "duo" test) would be nearly definitive at 4 weeks and definitive at 6 weeks.

This is my third reply to your questions. Thus, as per Forum guidelines, the thread will be closed later today.  I hope the information I have provided is helpful to you.  EWH
---