Anonymous
Hi, I have a question about HIV transmission. So I was working my job which is cleaning trash from the Milwaukee river and there was a discarded hypodermic needle among the debris I was picking up. I didn't see the needle and it stuck me, went through my glove and broke the skin on my finger. Could I have caught HIV from this discarded hypodermic needle? Should I be concerned?
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helpline-volunteer
Hi there, 

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of HIV transmission in the event that you had been pricked by a hypodermic needle. 

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be of High Risk (Transmission of HIV is possible in the given scenario). This scenario is determined to be of High Risk because the conditions of our HIV Transmission Equation are satisfied (see diagram below). In the incidence of pricks from hypodermic needlestick's, the three conditions are satisfied in that there may be possible HIV positive fluid (ie. blood), that has direct access to the bloodstream.

HIV does not survive long outside of the body. Yet, the virus can survive over 40 days in a completely sealed environment, such as a syringe (1). According to one source, being penetrated with a used syringe containing HIV positive particles may warrant a 0 to 2.3% chance that transmission will occur (1). 

In the incidence of needle-stick injuries, we recommend that you seek HIV testing as soon as possible. There are prophylactic options such as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), a drug that when accessed within a 72 hour window period of your most recent exposure, may prevent you from acquiring HIV. 

[Transmission%20Equation]
Resources:

Needlestick injury (1)

Thank you, 

AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, Cody 

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