Hi, I was on the HIV prevention forum and was advised to come here. I had 2 negative test results at 5 months post exposure and I was fine with accepting that and moving on. Later, however, I started reading other people's posts about things they are worried about.. and I started freaking out that the healthcare workers who drew my blood for the test used a dirty needle on me! In either testing instance, I did not see the healthcare worker unwrap a clean needle.. I was looking away because seeing my blood get drawn makes me very uneasy and lightheaded. It was not until later that it occurred to me that these people could have been reusing needles!! I am so completely freaked out.. I've also thought about the whole lawsuit thing in Nevada where a couple nurses/physician were reusing needles and infected more than 20 patients with Hep C! There are stories like this everywhere.. I feel like I need to go back after the window period has elapsed to make sure I did not get infected by the healthcare worker using a dirty needle! Would this be very easy to do? I know you are supposed to discard of the used needle immediately in the biohazard box, but this doesn't mean that every worker complies with this rule. Someone please help me out... I am really, really suffering. Should I get tested again and this time ask to watch them unwrap a clean needle?? I AM SO SCARED!!!
What happened in Nevada is completely irrelevant to getting your blood drawn for an HIV test. The contamination did not originate from health care workers reusing the same needles on different patients, it resulted from a contaminated needle being used to draw liquid from a multi-dose vial of medicine. A contaminated vial used to serve multiple patients was the source of infections.
Somebody asked the identical question in the Expert forum; please read Dr. Hook's answer as it applies directly to your concerns.
The bottom line is that what happened in Nevada is extremely rare and is a completely different situation procedurally to what occurs during a blood draw. Nobody has ever been infected with HIV (or any other blood-borne disease) from getting their blood drawn.
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