Anonymous
Hello,

I was walking in the city today and felt a sharp pain in my big toe. I looked down at my shoe (flat pumps) and realized I had stepped on a sewing needle in the crack of the pavement.

It pierced the skin of my toe and hurt quite a lot. As the pin was on the street I know it wasn't clean.

Is there any risk of HIV or Hepatitis from what I have described? Or am I being stupid worrying?

Thanks for the help.
Quote
Anonymous
Hi there,

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

Getting pierced by a sewing needle is constitutes no risk of HIV transmission. That is because for there to be any risk of HIV transmission, several conditions would need to be present. These conditions include the exchange of bodily fluids + engagement in high risk activities (such as unprotected vaginal/anal sex, sharing needles) + direct access to the blood stream.

Thus, the situations as you described it puts you at no risk of HIV infection for the absence of the conditions listed above. Additionally, HIV is a weak virus that cannot survive for more than a few seconds outside of the human body. Even if we assumed that the needle was contaminated with the virus (which is a big assumption by itself), it is very unlikely for it to be alive by the time you stepped on it. Your shoe acts as a protective barrier and since you do not mention whether or not the skin of your toe was broken as a result of stepping on the needle, it is safe to assume that there was no direct access to the blood stream.

Hepatitis C transmission is different than that of HIV and as such we recommend that you communicate with your local doctor or health care practitioner to learn more about its risk, testing and treatment. You can also find more informations on Hepatitis C and other STIs by visiting http://www.catie.ca and http://www.bccdc.ca.

Finally, I would like to say that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Here at the Helpline we are happy to educate and respond to your HIV related inquiries and concerns.

I trust that I have answered your questions.

In health,

Malath
Quote

ABOUT THE HELPLINE | SUPPORT OUR WORK | RISK ASSESSMENT CHART | ANONYMOUS TESTING | DISCLAIMER | CONTACT

Charitable Registration #
10668 9896 RR0001


© 2019 helpline.aidsvancouver.org
Privacy Policy
Disclaimer

OUR ADDRESS

1101 Seymour Street
Suite 235, 2nd Floor
Vancouver, BC V6B 0R1
Canada


GET IN TOUCH

Main Phone: 604-893-2201
Fax: 604-893-2205
Email: contact@aidsvancouver.org