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Author Topic: Sharp Objects, Needles, Discarded syringes & HIV transmission  (Read 76 times)

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Offline Jim Allen

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Sharp Objects, Needles, Discarded syringes & HIV transmission
« on: August 11, 2019, 11:47:19 am »
Just back from my holidays, catching up on August reading and can see the number 1 very old myth regarding the cinema and HIV transmission is doing a new round on social media.

So just as a reminder:

Myth 1: Girl goes to cinema and comes out with HIV

Rumour: During the 1990s, a common myth suggested that discarded needles left by strangers anywhere from gas pump handles to inside your cinema chair were infecting unassuming people with HIV. One such story involved a girl getting an unexpected needle stick injury while reaching down beneath her cinema seat to pick up some popcorn.

Reality: Although HIV transmission is a risk between people who share needles for drug use, there has actually never been a recorded case of HIV transmission from a discarded needle. However, if you are concerned that you have received a needle stick injury, you should seek medical advice to get checked up for hepatitis C and B instead.

Links & more on top myths:


In addition, read 3 "news" paper reports recently outlining risk "stories" not facts from people who had contact with needles, sharp objects in public or community settings when in there simply is no HIV risk!

This it boils down to fearmongering, lazy journalism and scare tactics to sell papers/get clicks. Its creates undue fear, misunderstand about HIV transmission and stigma. There are multiple reasons why it's not an HIV risk

Totally different conditions & volume is the occupational exposure as in clinic/hospital settings but even then the risk for HIV transmission is extremely rare, involving hollow needles that have been in the vein or artery. More common, high risk is sharing drug rigs/injection equipment under drug users although the factors there are totally different again as it's injection quantity stored in near-vacuum between users and does not apply to exposed or discarded objects, needles that people may come into contact with on a day to day basis.

Thought this reply regarding the topic on twitter was pretty good



« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 12:13:42 pm by Jim Allen »
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