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Sewing needle vs hypodermic

Sep 9, 2013

I was recently poked by a sewing needle that was left in a jacket after an alteration at the dry cleaner. This prompted me to do quite a bit of research. I understand the difference between a sewing needle and a hypodermic needle, what confuses me is how is a sewing needle such a lower risk of transmission than a hypodermic? I've read in a few places that even if you were poked by a sewing needle that just just poked someone that was HIV + the risk is still nonexistent. How is this the case? Thank you for your time.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there,

Thanks for writing in. The difference is that a sewing needle is not hollow. Needles that are used to give injections are hollow-bore needles. HIV infected blood can be pulled up into the needle itself, and since there is limited light and oxygen in the shaft of the needle, HIV has a slightly better chance of surviving for a longer period of time outside of the human body, increases the possibility of transmission. HIV present on the tip of a sewing needle would be exposed to air and light, and would start to die the moment it left the body. I hope this helps.

In health,


Sorry again Shannon.
HIV infection

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