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Author Topic: Acupuncture experience - freaked me out! HELP!  (Read 1411 times)

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Offline blahblahflah

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Acupuncture experience - freaked me out! HELP!
« on: January 18, 2010, 05:59:50 AM »
I went for a follow-up acupuncture appointment. The acupuncturist put a needle in the top of my head (she said its a great point for anxiety). After a few minutes, it fell out. When the acupuncturist came back to fix the needle, she said I was bleeding slightly, so she discarded the needle and put a new one in. She said it was a new disposable one, but she usually takes needles out of the pack and leaves them on a table near where she puts used needles before she puts them in  a medical waste container.

I am nervous b/c even though she said she uses disposable needles, I am unaware of whether she took a needle out of the disposable pack, or perhaps through human error, she used a used/contaminated needle on me?

1) My question is: say by human error she used a used/contaminated acupuncture needle on me, if the needle was previously used in someone with HIV, what is the risk of transmission?

2) I acknowledge that if the acupuncturist accidentally picked up a needle to use on me, and she saw blood on it, she would not have used it, but what if while there was no visible blood in it, it was still used on someone with HIV. In other words, how much blood would have to be on the needle for it to cause transmission?

I presume this is a no-to-low risk situation and PEP would not make sense, but please help me understand the situation....use of acupuncture needle and potential human error to use a used one.

THANK YOU! G-D BLESS!

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Acupuncture experience - freaked me out! HELP!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 07:58:51 AM »
Blah,

This is absolutely a NO risk situation. NO RISK. None whatsoever. For a start, acupuncture needles are not hollow bore. Any blood that may have been on an acupuncture needle would be exposed to the environment. Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus that does not remain viable and able to infect when outside the body and in the environment. Small changes in temperature and pH and moisture levels  all quickly damage the virus and render it unable to infect. Hiv is in no way transmitted from objects in the environment.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline blahblahflah

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Re: Acupuncture experience - freaked me out! HELP!
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 07:13:17 AM »
Thank you Ann; I really appreciate it and feel better. Just so I can intellectualize it and understand it better, acupuncture needles are not hollow (so blood does not fill up the hollow bore), and so any blood that the needle would have been exposed to, would have been on needle tip, then would have been exposed to air/environment, rendering the virus unable to infect???

1) I have no idea how long it was before the acupuncturist might have re-used the needle....could have been less than 5 minutes...so perhaps it was not left exposed to air for long enough? I read online that the HIV virus can stay alive for up to 10 days, but its the "dryng" of the HIV fluid that makes it unable to replicate....hence my concern that blood would not have dried out in 5 minutes.

Also, I would like to donate a check for the service that this website does....where could I send it to?

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Acupuncture experience - freaked me out! HELP!
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 07:25:00 AM »
Blah,

Yes, any blood would have been exposed to the environment for long enough. This ten day thing you read is just crap. I very much doubt the acupuncturist would have made such a glaring error anyway. They are highly trained and that training includes health and safety issues such as what you are worrying about. So chill.

This website does not accept donations, but thank you anyway. Your local ASO (aids service organisation) would welcome any funds in these times of recession. You can find your local ASO by looking in the phone book or using the ASO finder at POZ. http://directory.poz.com/

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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