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HIV Prevention and Testing => Do I Have HIV? => Topic started by: PhillipII on September 24, 2021, 11:37:24 am

Title: Finger-Stick Question
Post by: PhillipII on September 24, 2021, 11:37:24 am
Hello there,

I recently got tested for HIV in a free community health van. I wasnít paying attention and I couldnít tell if the finger stick device used on me was brand new, or if it had already been there. The specialist seemed knowledgeable, though the van was loud and blasting music. I tried calling the facility but Iím receiving no answer, causing me to feel a bit anxious.

Iím a bit paranoid about this incident as this is a van used to test many people for HIV and I just canít quite tell if a new device was used on me, following their prior patient.

Could I know if there is a risk here?

And also, hypothetically if it was a used finger stick, would this be a way for transmission? A cause for concern?

Thanks so much!
Title: Re: Finger-Stick Question
Post by: Jim Allen on September 24, 2021, 11:47:09 am

You had no HIV risk from the lancet.

Did you get tested over an exposure or just out of routine?

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, every time, no exceptions. Consider talking to your health care provider about taking PrEP going forward as an additional layer of HIV protection.

Keep in mind that some sexual practices which may be described as Ďsafeí in terms of HIV transmission might still pose a risk for transmission of other STI's, so please do get fully tested regularly and at least yearly for all STI's including but not limited to HIV and test more frequently if unprotected intercourse occurs

Also, note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms and the only way of knowing is by testing.

Kind regards


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Title: Re: Finger-Stick Question
Post by: PhillipII on September 24, 2021, 11:57:11 am
Hi there,

This was a 3 month test after a sexual encounter back in July. I tested non reactive/negative.

So youíre saying finger lancets can not transmit a virus in this case? Even if accidentally previously used? If so, can you please explain this to me a bit? As I know Iíve read some things about doctors being concerned over finger sticks, and wanted to know the facts behind these types of incidences.

Also, if a lance has a retractable needle what does that mean? Does it mean the needle can not be used a second time once itís used initially?

Thank you so much!
Title: Re: Finger-Stick Question
Post by: Jim Allen on September 24, 2021, 12:09:41 pm

In short, a retractable needle would be a hollow needle as found on syringes. The hollow needle retracts into the barrel after use and removes the risk of needle stick injury for the healthcare worker.

This was not used for your HIV test, it could have been a retractable lancet but it doesn't matter. The drop of blood is taken using a lancet, not a needle and isn't an HIV concern, nobody has even acquired HIV the way you fear.

It's a tiny amount of fluids and HIV is too fragile to remain infectious on a lancet/pin or tip of a sharp object as once it is exposed to the environment the outer receptors that the HIV uses to infect human cells is damaged (corroded) and thus renders it unable to infect. Your concern lacks exposure, quantity & route for HIV to be a risk.

You did not acquire HIV from getting tested.