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Can I get HIV from injecting street heroin?
Dec 24, 2012

I've tested for HIV twice at an anonymous testing centre after the window period, and it's negative. But I keep having a slight fever at night time. Can I get HIV from injecting street heroin, even if the needles I used were clean, can there be pieces of dried blood inside the street heroin,

Response from Dr. Young

Hello,

People who inject drugs are the highest risk group for getting HIV. Indeed, in some parts of the world, over 50% of injection drug users are HIV positive.

So, please bear this in mind with what I'll say next-- if you use clean needles and syringes every time and don't share your batch (especially since most people heat their heroin prior to injection), there shouldn't be any risk of getting HIV. The real issue is that when you're high, it becomes easier to forget safer ways to use- and easier to share kits or the drugs.

Remember too, that you should be tested 3 months after any last exposure to be sure that you don't have HIV.

Please feel free to write back anytime.

Be well, be safe. BY



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