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sharing needles
Jan 19, 2013

I shared a needle like an idiot. She claims to be clean, I'm going to get tested. But does this mean I automatically have hepatitis? We washed the needle out with water and an alcohol swab. I realize how big of a mistake it was but what now?

Response from Dr. Taylor

Sharing a needle does not automatically mean that you have hepatitis.

There are several different types of viral hepatitis. Hepatitis C is the infection most commonly acquired due to sharing needles and other equipment used to inject drugs (cotton, cooker, water). Hepatitis B may also be spread through sharing needles. HIV also be spread this way. So I agree that getting tested is an important next step.

If you are not able to stop injecting drugs, the safest thing is to not share syringes, needles, cottons, water and cookers, and to use a new, sterile syringe each time you inject. If you are injecting heroin, consider methadone or buprenorphine/suboxone if you can get access.

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