Anonymous
Hi there, appreciate your work. 
I have a hypothetical question. What if a syringe accidentally came in contact to fresh blood on surface (not inside the needle and barrel) less than 30 seconds and then used to inject subcutaneously. Would there be a risk for HIV? 
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helpline-volunteer
Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from your question, you are asking about possible HIV transmission from a syringe that came into contact with blood prior to being used for a subcutaneous injection.

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be of Low Risk (evidence of transmission occurs through these activities when certain conditions are met). 

To begin with, using shared needles for injecting is considered to be High Risk for HIV transmission. This response will consider that the needle in the scenario was a new, unused needle. 

Transmission is considered to be of Low Risk for the following reasons:

When HIV is exposed to oxygen in the air, it rapidly undergoes a decrease in concentration which affects its integrity (1). Also, since the injection was done subcutaneously, there is a lower risk of transmission occurring than if the needle came into direct contact with the bloodstream (see below) such as a vein through an intravenous injection. However, there is still a chance that the needle might have come into contact with smaller blood vessels, increasing transmission possibility.

Please refer to our HIV Transmission Equation below for more information:

[image]

Recommendation: Refer to a health care provider for HIV testing.

(1) HIV & Oxygen

Thank you
AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Shawn

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