Step on hiv needle.
Hi guys. I looked in your archive and couldn't find anything that fits my worries. I walked outside today without shoes on and remember feeling like a stepped on something like a stone. When I got in I couldn't find anything on my feet like blood or a wound of any kind. But I'm still struggling to shake the worry that I could have stepped on a broken bit of needle or something. Is this worth worrying about? Any responses would be great!
Hi there and thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source of information. While sharing needles is considered high risk for HIV transmission, this is largely because if there is a short amount of time between sharing injecting equipment, it is likely that if the blood was HIV+, it could survive longer in the instrument of the needle than if the bodily fluid was exposed to air. In the case of a broken needle or sharp object that was lying on the ground, it would be considered a no/negligible risk in terms of possible HIV transmission. In order for transmission to occur, there has to be direct contact between the HIV+ fluid and where it can have direct access to your bloodstream, and this would not be the case in the situation you described. Furthermore, the HIV virus dies within minutes after it comes into contact with air so even if you had stepped on a sharp object (that had the virus present on it) and it pierced your skin causing it to bleed, there is still no opportunity for HIV transmission as the virus would be more than likely be inactivated or "dead". In fact, the UK has recently updated guidelines on Post Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV and considered scenarios such as this such low/no risk that these medications are not recommended in situations where a person has had contact with a needle or syringe discarded in a public place (you can read more about it here if you would like: http://www.aidsmap.com/PEP-guidelines-for-the-UK-revised-to-take-account...). Of course, if you are sexually active and have never been tested for STI's, including HIV it may be a good idea to do so and testing is the only definitive way to know your status. A test 4 weeks post exposure is a good indicator of your status and if this situation continues to worry you, it may help alleviate some anxiety by getting tested. You may also wish to talk about this situation with a doctor or medical professional so that they can recommend any testing they may feel is necessary. I hope this answers your questions, please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Take care, Wendy AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer e: email@example.com p: (Mon-Fri 9-4pm ): (604) 696-4666 w: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline
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