Anonymous
I am a hypochondriac and worry a lot about hiv. My question is, can anyone get hiv from walking over a used needle with syringes ? Is the needle free of hiv due to exposure and only syringes can give you hiv when the barrel is pushed ? Some sites are showing that hiv can survive even in needle and not just the syringe. Please help.
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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 through walking over a used needle with syringe.
From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the HIV Transmission Equation (see down below).

Even if there had been fluid containing HIV positive particles, that the needle came into contact with, the HIV particles would be inactivated as exposure of the virus to oxygen quickly deactivates it. The CDC has shown that "HIV does not survive long outside the body (such on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside of the human host" (1). When HIV is exposed to oxygen, it undergoes a rapid decrease in concentration (90-99% within a couple of hours), so the risk of environmental transmission of HIV is essentially zero (1). 

Therefore, in the event that the needle you walked over did come in contact with HIV positive bodily fluid, the exposure to oxygen, coupled with the fact that there was no direct access to the bloodstream, means there is No Risk of transmission from this activity. Therefore, this scenario does not meet the three components of the HIV Transmission Equation (see down below).
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Recommendation: No need for an HIV test with the scenario provided, please refer to a healthcare professional for other health related questions.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Sonali 

1. HIV in the environment  

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