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hiv from needle prick in africa
Mar 26, 2012

Hi

I am currently voluntering in Kenya and I was working with some ladies on a bag making project we run. I took a needle from one of them and it pricked my skin. I did not notice any bleeding after. I am concerned that I may have contracted Hiv if the lady had pricked herself before hand as I know many of the women on this project are HIV positive. What are the chances of this. Would the needle have had to gone deep into my skin to pass on hiv and would the small amound of blood on the end of a needle be enough to transmit infection?

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

HIV does not live well outside of the body. The needle would need to have gone deep enough to allow access to the bloodstream. It's also not likely that the tip of the non-hollow needle would have enough blood to transmit the virus.

With needle sticks we are usually talking about a hollow-bore needle stick, where the person with HIV was having blood drawn and there is infected blood in and on the needle and the negative person accidentally gets stuck, and a decent amount of HIV positive blood is transmitted.

Bottom line: I would not be concerned. You do not need to test for this incident in particular. You can wait until your six month or annual HIV test.

In health,

Richard



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