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Needle prick

Question: 

I was at the tailor shop when I got pricked by a needle. These pins are re-used and therefore not thrown away.Am i at risk of getting hiv/aids.
thanks

Answer: 

Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions. We're happy to help!

To answer your question, no, this is not a method of transmission for HIV, and is considered a no risk situation. HIV is a very delicate virus, and cannot survive for long outside of the human body. Once is it exposed to the air, the virus becomes damaged and is no longer able to transmit. Any blood that was sitting on the pin would have already been exposed to the air and thus constitutes a no risk situation.

I also wanted to talk about why small, superficial cuts and pinpricks do not constitute a risk for HIV transmission. To start off with, here is a copy of the AIDS Vancouver Transmission Equation that we use to determine if there is a risk for HIV transmission:

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION

BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection

= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION

In order for there to be a risk of HIV transmission, all 3 factors (body fluid, activity, and direct access to the bloodstream) must be present. The main thing lacking in your interaction is direct access to the bloodstream. In order for a cut or wound to provide said access, the cut needs to be gushing blood and require immediate and professional medical attention. A superficial cut/pinprick like the one described in your question does not provide direct access to the bloodstream.

I hope I was able to answer your question, and feel free to contact us with any further concerns.

Regards,

Sierra, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
helpline.aidsvancouver.org