HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

How long does HIV live in the refrigator?

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Dear all,

I am very happy to find this site!

And this is my story:

last month,  I visited my sister  in the hospital, as I opened and cleaned the refrigator to put my fruits, I was  by chance stucked by one syringe. That syringe was used by the room-mate, I was a little bleeding..

I did not know the status of that patience, since she was away as the accident happened. But that syringe was used to inject medicines into the body, or maybe some vaccines, I did not know!

I told the accindent to my sister, she said that syringe was lying in the refrigator about ten minutes. Because there were 05 patients sharing the room, I dod not know what was inside the syringe...

My question: Did the accident put me at a risk ? Because the syringe was lying in the refrigator for 05-10 minutes ? Did the temperature kill off HIV ?

I spent the 06 weeks in a fear, I experienced nothing like ARS, but I took some meds during that time, so i am afraid that my meds could delay or stop my ARS?

PLS help me !

Thanks alot,


Did you report it at the nurses station? You could have found out real quick just by asking. Most likely you don't have a worry in the world about the stick. No vaccines will prevent the reaction of the HIV test.

Thanks for ur reply!

I have not reported yet since I was in a hurry, so I ran for my business !

I just wondered : Could HIV live in the fluids of medicine, or vaccine, or something not blood ? I was sure that the fluids in the syringe was not blood, and not used for drugs... That maybe tonic-meds taking via injection, or
vaccines, for example, HBV....

And, could HIV live in the refrigerator in 05 mins ?

One month post-exposure, no symptom yet, So i am more luckier ?

Because my HIV knowledge is not good, I need your help!

Best regards


Andy Velez:
You need to discuss this situation with the hospital. I can't imagine their procedures would allow for the casual storing of needles in the manner you have described.

HIV is a fragile virus and one that is not easily transmitted. You don't even know whether the other patient is HIV and if this was in fact a used needle. So we're talking here about a lot of what ifs.

Talk to an appropriate person on the hospital staff and get it clarified.


Definitely report it to the hospital.  Syringes are not to be stored in patient refrigerators, especially with the needle uncapped--that goes against all safety requirements and whoever is responsible needs to be written up.  This needs investigated.  Do you even know if it was a used needle?  Did someone leave it in there carelessly?  If it was used, was that patient HIV +?  Even if it was used on an HIV positive patient, your risk is still very low.  Luckily HIV is not easily transmitted that way and even a substantial, deep jab carries less than a 1% chance of infection.  Hepatitis C is much easier to spread--so in the event of any needlestick, that is really what one needs to worry about more than HIV.  So you just have too many variables.  Go to the hospital and report it and have it investigated.


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