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Needle reused?

May 4, 1999

If a needle is used to draw blood from an infected person and this same needle is used to draw blood from you, can you be infected by this needle. (Assuming this needle has been sitting in the air for few minutes). Isn't this is how drug users get infected each other by sharing the same needle? How long can the HIV virus live in the air?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The main difference between sharing needles for drug use and sharing needles to draw blood, is that with drug use, you are injecting back into the next persons vein and thus expelling any contents that was contained within the needle into person number two. With blood drawing, the vacuum from the blood tube draws the blood into the tube through the needle and away from person number two. In the fluid is still liquid, HIV can survive for some number of hours. If the liquid is dry, the virus is dead. MH

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