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Re-used Lancet for HIV Test!!! Transmission Risk
Oct 11, 2012

I went for a rapid HIV test today. The guy who pricked my finger actually took a lancet that was on the table already. After he pricked my finger HE PLACED THE LANCET BACK IN THE SPOT ON THE TABLE WHERE HE TOOK IT instead of discarding it! And he immediately called the next person.

The gentleman who he administered the test to before me ended up being positive.

If this guy actually re-used the lancet he used to test the positive gentleman before me, what are my risks of infection? I got this test about 6 hours ago, which means I can still get prophylaxis. Do you recommend PEP in this situation?

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hello there- HIV does not live well outside of the human body and within a minutes time, the virus starts to die, leaving it unable to infect someone. That being said, a needle stick is a needle stick. And if you have true concern that the needle was reused, I would suggest PEP. I would also make sure you discuss this with the testing site as my guess is that the person doing the testing is not reusing lancets and your fears will be alleviated. Take care, LHW



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