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Needlesticks outside healthcare
Jan 2, 2012

What a supportive sight you offer here! I'm sorry for, most likely, such a silly question but I feel it would be helpful to address a persistent fear I have, for which I don't have the necessary knowledge to dispel.

I am a little confused (and concerned about this), whilst I'm aware that there has never been a known case of hiv transmission through a needlestick outside of a healthcare setting, I'm not sure i understand why and how. It seems conceivable that out in the world a drug user or even somebody who has to inject for medical purposes may at some point incorrectly dispose of needles.

Is it the freshnesss and immediacy that often occurs with needlesticks in a healthcare environment? I worry quite a lot about coming into contact with some sort of needle when walking, putting out binbags, etc- would i be right in thinking that for transmission to be possible, a stick would have to be deep and painful and therefore you would know if it happened??

Many thanks

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

I am not sure of the statistics surrounding needlestick injuries outside of a healthcare setting, but you are correct, in the situations you described, needlestick injuries would certainly be possible and the risk would remain the same as in a healthcare setting. If there are no known cases, that simply means we don't know about them, it does not mean that they did not happen.



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