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Could that have been a needle I felt stick me? Am I at risk for HIV?
Sep 30, 1999

I recently went to a Rave party and someone bumped into me, I felt a little prick which could have been a very small needle or the end of a glowstick. I turned around and gave the guy a dirty look and he said "I'm positive bro, it's my first rave" This could have meant HIV+ or just he's being postitive and he's sorry for bumping into me. I am confused. even if it was a needle, can HIV be passes by such a small one?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question. I have seen many people go into a panic over thinking that someone may have stuck them with a needle (at a rave party, on the street, in a store, etc.). For example, I have seen some people asking themselves:

1) What if it was a needle that I felt?

2) What if there was HIV in the needle?

3) What if that person was purposely trying to infect me?

4) What if I got stuck by a needle without knowing it?

If you keep asking yourself these types of "what if...." scenarios, you will only stress yourself out, and cause yourself a lot of needless anxiety, fear, misery, and grief.

Put very simply, HIV has never been transmitted by a needle stick outside of a healthcare setting. It is extremely important that you do not start convincing yourself that you were at risk for HIV, based on theoretical possibilities or fear. Very often the fear of theoretical possibilities (the "what if....." scenarios) can be worse than the fear of the real thing.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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