What To Do After A Needlestick Injury
If you pierce or puncture your skin with a used needle, follow this first aid advice immediately:
- encourage the wound to bleed, ideally by holding it under running water
- wash the wound using running water and plenty of soap
- do not scrub the wound while you’re washing it
- do not suck the wound
- dry the wound and cover it with a waterproof plaster or dressing.
You should also seek urgent medical advice to assess your need for PEP or other treatment to reduce the risk of getting an infection.
Can You Get The Hiv / Aids Virus From A Swimming In A Public Pool
Recently, my family took a trip to the public pool.
It was great! They have a slide, which the kids used for hours. Me and my girlfriends did some sunbathing. The boys played volleyball. The pool was crowded with kids and adults, and everyone had so much fun! We were there for about 3 hours.
It wasnt until we were driving home that somehow, the following question was asked, by an 11-year-old, no less:
Can you get the HIV/AIDS virus from swimming in a public pool with someone else who is infected with the virus? For instance, what if that person has an open sore and someone swallows the pool water?
It was the age old question, posed once again.
The discussion in the car around this topic was very interesting. At first the adults were like, No, of course not! Dont even worry about it.
Can you guess what happened next? It was 1 am, and I was on the internet, querying the heck out of that very question.
The truth is, Id never really thought about it.
I thought the answer would be super to-the-point basic, ie. a resounding NO. But once I started readingI was down the rabbit hole and researching like a mad-woman.
Why is it that every time I try to research medical info online, it always feels like I have every symptom of every disease ever?
Anyway, I pressed on, searching for the answer to whether you can get HIV from swimming in a public pool.
Can I Become Infected If My Partner Has Hiv
A partnership where one person is infected with HIV and the other is not can be described as a sero-discordant relationship. There is a risk of HIV transmission if the discordant couple has unprotected sex. However, this risk can be greatly reduced with the use of condoms during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Both partners in a discordant sexual relationship should take on the responsibility of protecting one another from HIV infection.
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How You Get Hiv
HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person,which includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood, and breast milk. To get HIV, one of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood.
HIV is a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long. HIV is most commonly transmitted through vaginal or anal sex without a condom.
Other ways of getting HIV include:
- using a contaminated needle, syringe or other equipment to inject drugs
- transmission from a mother to her child before, during or shortly after birth however, with medical treatment it is possible to prevent the virus from being passed on by a mother to her child
- through blood transfusions however, since 1985 all blood donated in the UK must be screened for HIV – screening policies in the developing world may not be as rigorous, so there is a possible risk of developing HIV if you receive a blood transfusion in certain parts of the world
- through oral sex or sharing sex toys
HIV cannot be transmitted from:
- being sneezed on by someone with HIV
- sharing baths, towels or cutlery with an HIV-infected person
- swimming in a pool or sitting on a toilet seat that someone with HIV has used
- animals or insects such as mosquitoes
Saliva, sweat and urine do not contain enough of the HIV virus to infect another person.
What Is The Risk From Needlestick Injuries In Healthcare Settings
The risk of transmission from a needlestick involving HIV-containing blood has been estimated at 0.23%, or just over one in 500. However, the reviews of transmission probability upon which this calculation is based date predominantly from the 1980s and 1990s, before the wide-scale introduction of antiretroviral therapy. Due to the effectiveness of HIV treatment, the blood of someone living with HIV in the UK could well have no detectable virus , lowering that risk even further. In UK guidelines, PEP is therefore no longer recommended following occupational exposure to a source with an undetectable viral load.
The greatest risk to healthcare workers of acquiring HIV is following a skin puncture injury involving a hollow needle that has been in the vein or artery of an HIV-positive person who has late-stage disease and a high viral load. The European Union Sharps Directive of 2013 stipulates measures to protect healthcare personnel.
The risks of acquiring other blood-borne viruses from a contaminated needle are considerably higher than for HIV . For this reason, healthcare workers are recommended to have the hepatitis B vaccination, although no vaccine is available for hepatitis C.
Exposure to HIV as a result of work activities. Exposure may include accidental exposure to HIV-infected blood following a needlestick injury or cut from a surgical instrument
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How Needle Sharing Exposes You To Hiv
When a person uses a needle to inject drugs, some of their blood goes into the needle and syringe. HIV spreads through blood. If you use the same needle as someone who has the virus, the HIV-infected blood goes into your body.
You can get HIV whether you inject drugs into a vein, under your skin, or into a muscle.
Sharing needles isnât the only way to get HIV. Your risk also increases if you:
- Prepare drugs with a syringe that contains someone elseâs infected blood
- Reuse spoons, filters, or containers used to dissolve and heat drugs
- Use the same filter another person used
Injected drugs also make you more likely to take risks such as having unprotected sex. Thatâs another way you can get HIV.
Sharing needles can also put you in contact with other infections that you can get through blood. These include the liver diseases hepatitis B and hepatitis C, as well as tuberculosis.
How Hiv Infects The Body
HIV infects the immune system, causing progressive damage and eventually making it unable to fight off infections.
The virus attaches itself to immune system cells called CD4 lymphocyte cells, which protect the body against various bacteria, viruses and other germs.
Once attached, it enters the CD4 cells and uses it to make thousands of copies of itself. These copies then leave the CD4 cells, killing them in the process.
This process continues until eventually the number of CD4 cells, also called your CD4 count, drops so low that your immune system stops working.
This process may take up to 10 years, during which time you’ll feel and appear well.
Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021 Next review due: 22 April 2024
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What Are Prep And Pep
PrEP and PEP are medicines to prevent HIV. Each type is used in a different situation:
- PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is for people who don’t already have HIV but are at very high risk of getting it. PrEP is daily medicine that can reduce this risk. With PrEP, if you do get exposed to HIV, the medicine can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.
- PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP is for people who have possibly been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.
Can I Get Hiv From Sharing Needles Syringes Or Other Drug
You are at a high risk of getting HIV if you share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment with someone who has HIV. As used needles and syringes can have blood on them from another user, re-using them can increase the risk of transmitting or receiving HIV. Those who share these are also at risk of hepatitis B and C. Additionally, people who inject drugs may also engage in increased risky sexual behaviours, such as unprotected sex which can increase the chances of infection.
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How Should Sharps Be Disposed Of
An effective system for disposing of used needles and sharps is crucial to preventing injuries. Have disposal containers readily available.
Workers should place needles in wide-mouth, puncture-proof containers. Locate disposal containers specifically where needles and sharps are used to make safe disposal possible. Replace the containers before they are completely filled – sharps containers should be removed and replaced when they are three quarters full. Make sure they are sealed, collected, and disposed of in accordance with local regulations for biomedical waste.
All staff should report every incident in which they find needles or sharps left at the bedside or thrown into the regular garbage.
Does Pep Cause Side Effects
Some people taking PEP may have side effects, like nausea. The side effects are usually not serious and often get better over time. If you are taking PEP, tell your health care provider if you have a side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
PEP medicines may also interact with other medicines that a person is taking . So it’s important to tell your health care provider about any other medicines that you take.
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Diseases Spread By Needles
- Varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles
- Epstein-Barr, a type of herpes virus
When it comes to HIV, your chances of getting it goes up if the needle:
- Has blood on it
- Was first stuck in someoneâs artery or vein
- Was used for a very deep injury
- Was used on someone who dies within 2 months of the needle stick injury
Is There Risk Of Hiv Transmission When Having A Tattoo Body Piercing Or Getting A Hair Cut Or Shave
There is a risk of HIV transmission if instruments contaminated with blood are not sterilized between clients. However, people who carry out body piercing or tattooing should follow procedures called ‘universal precautions’, which are designed to prevent the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B.
When having a hair cut there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and infected blood gets into the wound. Traditional ‘cut-throat’ razors used by barbers now have disposable blades, which should only be used once, thus eliminating the risk from blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis and HIV.
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Can I Take Pep Every Time I Have Unprotected Sex
PEP is only for emergency situations. It is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently – for example, if you often have sex without a condom with a partner who is HIV-positive. In that case, you should talk to your health care provider about whether PrEP would be right for you.
How Well Does Prep Work
PrEP is very effective when you take it every day. It reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. In people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk of HIV by more than 70%. PrEP is much less effective if you do not take it consistently.
PrEP does not protect against other STDs, so you should still use latex condoms every time you have sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
You must have an HIV test every 3 months while taking PrEP, so you’ll have regular follow-up visits with your health care provider. If you are having trouble taking PrEP every day or if you want to stop taking PrEP, talk to your health care provider.
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How Is It Spread
HIV is spread when a person has contact with blood or other bodily fluids infected with HIV.2 Sexual contact is the most common route of HIV transmission. Needle drug use results in thousands of additional HIV infections every year. When a person injects drugs with a needle used by someone who has HIV, there is a serious risk of being infected. In addition, even if needles are not shared, blood can be present in the water or cotton used to filter and inject drugs.3
Some drugs have been associated with risky sexual behavior and/or a heightened risk for contracting AIDS/HIV, including:3
- Alcohol, which can decrease inhibitions and lead to risky and/or unprotected sex
- Opioids, which are frequently injected and can cause an increased risk of HIV transmission. The compulsive nature of opioid addiction may also compel users to trade sex and/or money for drugs
- Meth, or methamphetamine, which is associated with high-risk sexual behaviors, including having multiple partners and not using a condom. In addition, meth is often injected
- Crack cocaine, which can cause users to spend all of their money on the drug and turn to trading sex for drugs, increasing their risk of exposure to HIV
- Inhalants such as poppers, which is another drug associated with risky sexual behaviors, illegal drug use, and sexual transmitted diseases, particularly among gay and bisexual men
What Diseases Can Be Transmitted Through Needle Stick Injury
Blood-borne diseases that could be transmitted by a needlestick injury include human immunodeficiency virus , hepatitis B and hepatitis C . Thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water, and go to your doctor or nearest emergency department as soon as possible. The risk of disease transmission is low.
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Hiv Rates From Drug Use
The risk of HIV transmission varies based on the type of activity. But even low-risk activities, repeated over and over, can increase the risk of HIV transmission over time.5
According to the Centers for Disease Control , for every 10,000 exposures, the risks of acquiring HIV from an infected source are the following:5
- Receptive anal intercourse 138
- Needle-sharing during injection drug use 63
- Percutaneous 23
- Receptive penile-vaginal intercourse 8
- Insertive penile-vaginal intercourse 4
The CDC notes that HIV diagnoses for people who inject drugs have decreased over the past several years. However, they have decreased more among certain ethnic groups than others.6
- About 10% of new HIV diagnoses are among people who inject drugs
- Overall, annual diagnoses among people who inject drugs decreased by 48% between 2008-2014
- Diagnoses decreased by about half among blacks and Hispanics who inject drugs
- Annual diagnoses dropped by 28% for urban white injection drug users between 2008 and 2012, but they did not drop between 2012 and 2014
The CDC also reports that fewer blacks and Hispanics are sharing needles and syringes. Whites are more likely to share them, and they are also more likely to start injecting at younger ages.6
Whats The Risk Of Getting A Disease From A Used Needle
Starbucks employees are worried about the danger of being stuck with used syringes discarded in store bathrooms.
More than 3,700 people had signed a petition requesting safe syringe disposal in the stores bathrooms as of Friday. The petition cited fear of exposure to infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B, should a Starbucks employee accidentally come in contact with a used needle while cleaning the bathroom or emptying the trash something multiple employees have reported happening.
Starbucks installed safe syringe disposal boxes in all of its Seattle stores last year, and is now responding to employee concerns by exploring rolling them out to more locations.
At the end of the day, we want to make sure that our partners are safe, Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges said. I dont think this is a problem unique to Starbucks, he added. I think a lot of retail business are dealing with this.
Dr. Alysse Wurcel, an attending infectious disease physician at Tufts Medical Center, praised the needle-disposal box rollout, saying she absolutely thinks there should be needle boxes in the stores bathrooms.
The people working at Starbucks didnt go into this job thinking of these health exposure risks, said Wurcel, whose job includes responding to alerts that a patient might have been exposed to an infectious disease from a discarded needle.
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Is Unprotected Anal Intercourse More Of An Hiv Risk Than Vaginal Or Oral Sex
Unprotected anal intercourse does carry a higher risk than most other forms of sexual activity. The lining of the rectum has fewer cells than that of the vagina, and therefore can be damaged more easily, causing bleeding during intercourse. This can then be a route into the bloodstream for infected sexual fluids or blood. There is also a risk to the insertive partner during anal intercourse, though this is lower than the risk to the receptive partner.
Hepatitis C And Tattooing: Can You Get Hepatitis From Tattoos
Whether if it is for symbolic sentimentalities, self-expression, artistic freedom, or a visual display of a personal narrative, tattoos have always remained popular for a multitude of reasons. As the art form continues to move from the fringes into the mainstream, many have begun to wonder whether it poses any risk of infection from blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis C.
Continue reading further to learn about the possible health risks associated with infected tattoos.
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