HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Can I get infected
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Can I get infected

Dear Doc,

I  went to hospital to draw blood for a test. The technician used the needle with vacutainer tubes for collecting blood.When blood drawing, the needle which connect the vacutainer  fell out from the vacutainer,  touched the table, and left two drops of blood. The nurse take the needle directly, and connected back into the vacutainer to continue to draw blood. I wonder whether there is any HIV virus in the nurse's glove or in the table.  if the virus touch the needle or my blood in the needle , Can the virus going into my body? Can I get Hiv infected ?  Thank you.
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

Nobody ever catches HIV from having blood drawn.  It probably hasn't happened in any country for over 20 years -- and back then it was only if the same needle was used to draw blood (from a vein, not fingerstick).  Vacutainer needle holders are intended to be used on multiple patients; it's not a risk assuming the needle is changed. It sounds like your nurse did it correctly.  No risk, nothing you should worry about.

Regards-- HHH, MD
7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your answer. I worried about it.  Becaue during the time there is my blood in the vacutainer needle,and it touch the table and the nurse's glove . If the virus contact  my blood in the vacutainer needle, Can it went into my body by the route?  Can the blood flow back into my body with the virus?
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Avatar_m_tn
By  the way , I make sure that the needle is new, wasn't used by anbody before. Thank you.
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239123_tn?1267651214
HIV is much harder to transmit than you seem to think.  It's not like a cold or influenza virus. And it is impossible for blood from a vacutainer system to "flow back into [your] body".  That's why it's called VACUtainer -- the vacuum in the blood tube only permits flow in one direction.

Don't over-think it, and ignore any more "what if" scenarios that come to mind -- or at least don't ask them here.  There is no additional information that would change my opnion or advice, so I won't have any more comments.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much. I know my question is a bit stupid. Thank you for your kind help, and your patience.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Doc,

I am still worried about it. Because my English is not good enough,There is one more thing . They don't use the needle holders. the needle directly penetrated into the vacumm tube. So is there any influence?

I am sorry for my disturb. Thank you .
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239123_tn?1267651214
This makes no difference. Still no risk.

As I said at the start:  "Nobody ever catches HIV from having blood drawn."  Believe it, forget about it, and move on without worry.
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239123_tn?1267651214
H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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