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Author Topic: Worried after drug use.  (Read 966 times)

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Offline calicokittykat

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Worried after drug use.
« on: January 23, 2012, 01:11:45 AM »
Hello all,

Here's my situation. I decided to do something very, very stupid and try out heroin. A friend of mine and I went out, bought brand new needles, and then did the stuff. I kept the package of needles with me, disposed of the one I used, and my friend kept her's. About a week or two later, we decided to do it again. I threw away all but one new needle before this, but my friend still had the one she used from the previous time before. So, we went out and did it again...but this time, we used the same "cooker" and "cotton". She used first, then I did. We didn't share water. I didn't think much of it because:
1. I was not sharing a needle with her.
2. I figured if there was any blood residue left in her needle (she flushed her needle out with water afterwards the first time), it would have dried out by then, rendering any type of blood-borne virus dead. Also with it being around fluctuating temperatures, too.
3. I did NOT come into contact with any fresh blood of hers.

Well, I found out I was pregnant recently, I woke up yesterday with a paranoia that I could have HIV or Hep now because of this. She claims she doesn't have anything, but I'm not going on that assumption.

I guess what I would like to know is HIV capable of living that long in a miniscule about of blood, in a syringe, for over a week? I have always been under the impression it was a rather fragile virus, and wouldn't survive long without a human host. I looked some things up online, and I have found various things stating it would have died within a few hours to laboratories being able to keep it alive for 60+ days. I would like to know a real life assessment, not something that was controlled strictly in a lab. I know Hep is a much more resilient virus than HIV, so I already know my chance of getting that would be higher...

I do plan on getting tested for HIV, HepB, and  HepC. (I'm a non-responder to the HepB vaccines, hence my worry about that).


And, no, I'm never doing heroin again. Stupidest decision of my entire life. Glad it made me sick as a dog the second time.

I should be happy right now with the pregnancy news, but all I can do is worry about what a stupid, irresponsible thing I've done...

Thank you for your time.

Offline Ann

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Re: Worried after drug use.
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 05:42:10 AM »
kat,

According to your numbered list, you did not, at any time, share a needle with her. This puts hiv out of the picture.

The concern here is hep C. You should not share ANY of the drug injecting equipment in order to avoid hep C in this type of situation. Not only is hep C much more robust and able to remain viable outside the body than hiv, but a drop of blood will have much more hep C virus present than it would hiv.

This is because while a person with hiv can have a viral load (the amount of virus in the blood) of anywhere from 0 to 100,000 or so, it is very common for a person with hep C to have a viral load exceeding 1,000,000. When I had hep C, my viral load was routinely over 3,000,000 and that is considered on the low side. The higher the viral load, the more easy it is to become infected.

What put you at risk for hep C was sharing the cooker and the cotton. Given the circumstances of the time elapsed between uses (are you sure she didn't use the needle during that week?), you do have a good chance of being ok, but the ONLY way to know for sure is to test.

While you will not be able to be treated for hep C during your pregnancy, you still need to know so steps can be taken to protect the baby. So please do test.

You should be tested for hiv as well, not because of the drug use, but because all pregnant women should be screened for hiv as a matter of routine, just like they screen you for all sorts of other things. I wish they would start routine hep C screening for pregnant women as well. (Are you aware there are many, many more people living with hep C in the US than there are people living with hiv? It's true.)

Good luck hun. Don't be afraid to test - it's the best thing to do for both you and your baby. If you test positive for either, it will  NOT be the end of the world. Trust me on that - I've been there on both counts.

Keep us posted.

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 calicokittykat

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  • Posts: 4
Re: Worried after drug use.
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 09:52:21 AM »
Hi Ann, thank you for the reply. It reallllllllllyyyyy helped ease my worry. It had actually been eleven days from the first day we did it to the second day. My friend does not have a car nor money to do heroin, plus she's not a regular heroin user, so I'm pretty confident that needle she used was not used in between the two times I was with her. I am going to get tested for everything, as part of my prenatal labs, but my appointment is not for two weeks so I just gotta wait it out.

The last time I was tested for hiv, hep b and c was this past summer. I work as a lab tech for a large hospital and I had an accidental needlestick. I tested out negative for everything and as did the patient that the needle was used on. I know alllllll about viral loads and the prevalance of hep c. I know I have way more patients with hep c than hiv.
Again, thank you for the reply. Once I get the results from my prenatal labs, I be sure to update you. :)

Offline calicokittykat

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Re: Worried after drug use.
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 09:55:18 AM »
oh yeah, the hospital system i work at and the one my obgyn is under, does test routinely test pregnant women for hiv, hep b and hep c. i know this because i draw their blood :)

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Worried after drug use.
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 10:23:24 AM »
Kat,

You're welcome. Sounds like you work for a good system - routine hep C screening isn't universally routine yet. Neither is hiv screening for that matter, but we're getting there.

Good luck. I do expect you to come out of this ok, lesson learned.

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

Offline calicokittykat

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Worried after drug use.
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 01:15:31 PM »
Hi Ann,

I do have more question for you...I'm terribly sorry, I think I'm letting my mind get carried away with the whatifs...but, in the event that I did use the water after she dipped her syringe in it to get water in it to rinse it off, would that place me at a risk for HIV? I'm pretty sure that I did not do that, but like I said, the what if has been racking my brain....thank you again.

Offline Ann

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  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Worried after drug use.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 09:14:57 AM »
Kat,

As I said yesterday, your main worry is hep C, not hiv. Hiv only would have been a worry if you shared her needle and shared it directly after her. That's why I was so adamant about you also being tested for hep C. Under the circumstances, you will most likely be ok for hep C as well, but only testing will tell you for sure.

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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