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Accidental Needle Prick?
Feb 25, 2001

Hello Dr. Dieterich,

I'm normally a very sane person (more or less), but I've become very worried about something that happened to me this past weekend. I was walking through a parking lot of a movie theatre when I looked down and saw a hypodermic needle lying right beside my foot.

I'm suddenly concerned that maybe the needle grazed the side of my shoe and pricked me, but not deep enough for me to actually stop in pain. Is this silly? What are the chances of getting HIV or HEP C through this kind of transmission? Should I see my doctor?

Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

You should always see your doctor and get tested for HIV hepatitis A and B and C. If you are negative for A and B you should get vaccinated and you will be protected. It sounds virtually impossible for a syringe to get through leather and into you without you know it. That does not sound like an exposure to me. DTD



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