HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

A Question

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Injection drug users, share works without sterilizing and inject directly in to a vein immediately after use by another user.


I'd like to second what Rodney says. When hiv transmission happens through ANY sort of incident with a needle, it is because that needle has been used IMMEDIATELY after the person who is positive.

There's a difference here too between injecting drug users and needle stick injury. With needle stick injury, it is simply a small break in the skin where the specific cells that hiv needs to infect are not likely to be present. When a needle is use to inject drugs, this needle is placed directly into a vein and the contents of the syringe - possibly including some blood of the previous user - are injected directly into the blood stream where there ARE the specific cells present.

One thing you must realise is that when a person is injecting drugs, they put the needle into a vein and draw some blood into the syringe to make sure they really do have the vein. This is a crucial factor that enables transmission during the act of sharing needles.

Another crucial factor here is that people waiting for their turn with the syringe don't normally have a lot of patience. They want their hit and they want it NOW. So as a result, very little time elapses between one person using the needle and the next.

If you inject drugs, make sure you use your own equipment. Hiv isn't the only blood borne pathogen that you need to protect yourself against.

You are hiv negative and it's up to you to stay that way. You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL STIs together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Use condoms and your own drug injecting equipment and you will avoid hiv infection. It really, really is that simple!


Thanks for the VERY informative replies


--- Quote from: ScienceGuy25 on June 25, 2006, 12:24:01 PM ---
However a needle with a very miniscule amount of blood sitting around for any length of time would certainly not be a permissive envrionment for HIV survival and not a concern.

--- End quote ---

hiv can survive in a needle and still be infectious for more than a month, maybe it is not as fragile as we think


You left out 'hermetically sealed syringe'

and this 'your basic insulin needle and the most common type exchanged by needle exchange programs, can contain about 20 microliters of residual blood. In syringes with fixed needles the residue is only about one microliter, and as a result, HIV doesn't last as long in the fixed needle syringes.'

yes it is as fragile as we say. In a hermetically sealed environment it is protected from oxygen and the virus is safe because the blood cannot dry


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