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stepped on a needle
Dec 20, 2013

I believe I stepped on a needle I was in a hurry to get my son while walking I felt a poke I didn't think much of it until I got home and noticed a small red dot on the bottom of my foot after taking a shower. I started thinking maybe I stepped on a needle I was wearing nike tennis shoes that have good soles. I went and checked the sidewalk were I was walking but it was 3 hours later I could not find anything on the ground. It was garbage day so it could have fallen out of someones garbage can. Could a needle go through tennis shoes would you take pep for this or testing? I appreciate your help I'm really worried I have small children I want to protect also if I don't take pep what would my risk percentage be for this kind of exposure.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi Thank you for your question and you are HIV free from this experience. HIV transmission can only occur when there is a direct and prolonged exposure to body fluids, semen, vaginal fluid, blood or mother to child through breast feeding. This most commonly occurs through unprotected vaginal or anal sex and sharing of needles. Casual contact, sharing utensils, drinking after someone, etc are not way for HIV transmission to occur. If you go to this link HIV101 it will take you to our page that talks about the ways in which HIV is and is not transmitted.

This meaning that if you did step on a needle there would have to be a significant amount of blood on the needle and it would have to enter your blood stream. Which would mean a deeper entry into your body. Also if it was a needle covered in blood once HIV leaves the body it begins to die and becomes unable to infect.

There's no reason for PEP or worrying about your kids and yes it would be difficult for a needle to go through your tennis shoe and then stick your foot and even if it did the blood would be stripped off as it went through your shoe. There are other things that are other bacterias and virus's that you could get through this type of exposure, keeping the wound clean and covered as it heals is your best bet.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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