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Hi,
i got tested at a county hospital in the dc area a few weeks ago for hiv.A week after I had sorethroat and mild cold.I went back and asked the nurse if there was a chance I might have been contaminated by someone elses needle. She said no...But I am very concerned that she might have drawn blood from some hiv positive guy and used the same needle on me. My questions are:
1. Is that possible? Can someone make a mistake like that?
2. Has there been an incidence of someone getting any virus by testing?
3. What kind of needles are used for testing? I saw small individual needles in boxes. Wouldnt that increase the chance of her making mistakes, if she had to use more than one fresh piece for drawing? Are there safeguards in needles nowadays so it cant be reused?
Please reassure me.
Btw I got negative after my testing
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replied May 11th, 2004
Please Help Me
Hi all,
i would appreciate if someone could reply to my email and reassure me.
Thanks
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replied May 11th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
Nathan,

no matter how many safeguards there are, nothing is 100% safe, that said though the normal rules (& at least in western countries these are usually followed pretty seriously due to not only staff fear of infection but fear of law suits & even criminal charges) are that a different needle is used for each person & that each needle is thrown away (in other words not put back with new ones!!) immediately after being taken out of your arm.

It is far more likely that you picked up a sore throat from someone who had a virus (cold/flu or similar etc) even the burse may have had a cold then that you got hiv from being tested.

But if you want to stay hiv free practise safe sex (that inludes all types of sexual contact where fluids are involved - not merely exchanged!!).
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replied May 11th, 2004
Needle - Single Use?
Thanks for that reassurance.My worry stems from the fact
1. I got cold and sore throat just after a week of testing.
2. That the testing wing was hiv wing of the hospital(spooky)
3. Its very easy and human to make an error and use an old needle , even if syringe was new.There were a lot of people being tested that day and hence the possibilty of a mix up.
Am I just freaking out here?

But I did hear that a needle is built in such a way that it cant be reused.It gets clogged. Any ideas on that? And would that kind of needle be used at a county hospital?
What do you think?
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replied May 12th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
Since junkies constantly re-use needles I suspect that they can be re-used but I would think that any hospital regardless of size etc would be doubly careful not to make any mistakes if the hiv wing was in the same area.

After all forget the poor old patients - the staff would take extra care for their own desire not to get infected!! That may in fact be your best reason to relax. Self-interest is pretty high in most of us & add their fear of not wanting to catch anything, to their fear of being sued, losing their job or of being charged with say "criminal neglect".

No idea what kind of needle they'd use but I really don't think that would be the problem - if there was a problem & as above I really think that is unlikely - but if there was it would be human error & I still think pretty hard to happen.

As to the timing of your cold - unless you were quarantined for that week you were in contact with dozens maybe hundreds of people who could have sneezed etc & hey presto you get a sore throat.
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