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HIV transmission through Needle Scratch (not stick)?
Jun 16, 2010

First off Dr. Bob - thank you so much for this resource - you are truly inspirational!! :) OK now for the stupid question part... LOL I am a receptionist at an orthopedic practice, and recently they began having us dispose of the red needle disposal containers. We lock them and carry them to the biohazard box. Two days ago I was carrying the boxes in my gloved hand, but I didn't glove the other hand because there were only two, and when I got done I realized there was a small bleeding scratch on my ungloved hand. I had also just assembled the cardboard biohazard box since the other was full, and I realize the scratch very well could have come from that, though I don't remember scratching my hand enough to make it bleed.

I realize that logically I would probably feel a needle scratch my hand, although I have had coworkers in the past who haven't realized they were scratched by sharp instruments until they bled, and I don't recall my hand coming near the needles at all. But the red containers say "puncture resistant, but not puncture proof."

It had me thinking, I know a needle stick could accidentally inject infected blood into your system. But could just a scratch from a needle that had been discarded earlier in the day transmit HIV if there was no pressure on the syringe or no syringe even, just the needle? I hate to sound paranoid, but I guess you could say I am just a little. I didn't report it to work because I can't even be sure the scratch came from a needle and not the box. Should I be concerned or report it at all?

OK now I know I sound paranoid. LOL Thank you, and an donation is on the way! :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent. I see no cause for concern, let alone paranoia!

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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