[Question #3644] Needle question

36 months ago
Hello dr. I was recently doing a follow up hiv test and everything came back negative . I was wondering  about the risk of transmission from a needle used in a clinic. I assumed they use a new needle eveytime but my fear of needles caused me to look away so I didn’t see whether they did or not. I guess my question I is how long can hiv survive on a needle or syringe. Also do most hospitals and reputable clinics use the type of needles that lock after one use making it impossible to reuse again.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
HIV has never been transmitted by a used needle in a doctor's office or clinic, at least not in the past 30 years. No clinics re-use needles, and virtually (if not truly all) use blood drawing equipment that prevents re-use. The duration of HIV survival in needles isn't really known -- it depends on how much blood is in the needle, how long it has been since the prior use, room temperature, humidity, and other factors. But since it has never happened, it really doesn't matter. It also doesn't matter that you didn't watch, and you can avoid watching your blood draws in the future without worry.

HHH, MD

---
36 months ago
Ok thanks I got a bit of bruising by the needle stick a day after I guess this is common or an inexperienced nurse ?
36 months ago
Also I have read many articles on the internet  of hiv transmission at dr office or even dentists office  from using contaminated needles  ranging from law suits to even issued warnings from the cdc all found online 
36 months ago
I would greatly appreciate your views on the two previous questions thank you .
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
Bruising at venipuncture site is mostly related to how well the patient keeps pressure on the site afterward, not on the technique or skill of the technician.

Anybody can post whatever they want on the internet. Believe me, there are no scientifically proved cases of HIV transmission by having blood drawn. I would advise you to limit your online searching to reputable scientific sites, preferably professionally moderated ones (health departments, academic medical centers, government agencies, etc) and avoiding ones run by and for people with any particular kind of health problem or risk.
---
36 months ago
Thanks dr one last question can hiv be transmitted through blood getting in an open cut whether it be small or large ?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
There are several theoretically plausible exposures that might occur but that do not, or so rarely that there are no known cases. Exposure of skin wounds to HIV infected blood or body fluids is one of them. The only known cases of HIV being caught through wounds are in health care personnel who were injured by HIV contaminated sharp instruments. Outside health care settings, there are no known cases of HIV being caught through an exposed wound, large or small. But in reply to your specific question, exposure of a large, recent, still bleeding wound undoubtedly would more readily be more likely to result in infection that a small one. Healing wounds are even lower risk -- generally pretty well sealed off against HIV or other viruses.

That concludes this thread. I hope the discussion helps you get beyond such worries.

---