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ex-Heroin addict & HIV
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A place to get help from others in assessing your risk of HIV, getting advice about HIV testing or the effectiveness of condoms or risks associated with specific sexual practices.

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ex-Heroin addict & HIV

Hi... I don't have anyone to talk to about this:
I was stupid enough to be addicted to black tar heroin for about 1 year. I never, EVER, shared needles with anyone, always made sure they were clean, etc... I was tested right after I quit and was clean....

Now, I went to the ENT doctor recently and apparently I have something called adenoids (adenoids) and "adenoid hypertrophy". he mentioned that it is rare in adults, and that they need to do an HIV test because it's sign of HIV... I told him not to schedule the test. I don't want to know this; I don't want to know if I have this death sentence!

I know I did something bad in my past, but what are the chances of getting HIV by just injecting? Again, I never shared needles, or filters or anything....
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar n tn
By just injecting? Plz explain?
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Avatar n tn
What are the chances of getting it from contaminated heroin? For example: someone who is HIV positive smuggles heroin across the border "internally" (inside of them/in contact with their blood) and then I cook it up and inject it.

I had 2 friends who also shot but we each always used our own needles. In addition, they have been tested and are clean.

Regardless, I've decided to get tested and then I will have to live with the consequences... but I would still like to know the chances to the above?
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Avatar m tn
It would still be possible for you to catch HIV if you shared syringes, drug-cooking implements, or rinse water. You can't catch it from the heroin itself however.

"I was tested right after I quit and was clean...."

How long was it since you last used before you were tested? Was it at least 3 months?
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Avatar n tn
Hi, thank you... I was tested about 2 weeks after I stopped using, almost a year ago.
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Avatar m tn
If you shared works within 3 months of your test then you could still be at some risk for HIV- if you never shared anything and haven't had unprotected vaginal or anal sex with a partner of unknown status since that time then you're not at risk.
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366749 tn?1370585676
As mentioned by Joggen, you should have waited for 3 months after quitting the drugs. Believe me, HIV is no more a "death sentence" and I disagree with you. With the development of HAART cocktails, HIV infected people can live longer with very low viral load and manageable CD4 counts. Thanks to the medical science for this breakthrough.

In my humble opinion, it is always to be sure about our status by getting tested at the right time because if someone is really infected, and he knows it at the right time, he can start treatment and also by knowing our status, we can stop the spread of the disease which we could do otherwise, inadvertently
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Avatar n tn
Haven't had unprotected sex so that's not an issue.

I just mailed a "home access" express HIV-1 test off (the one that's FDA approved), I'll post the results in a day or two, when I get them. Thanks for the fast responses, this has been an unnerving day.

diver58, I am not so much worried about actual life expectancy time, as the quality of life... my uncle has lived with it (although he is now frail) for the past 20 years. Society does not view HIV positive people in a good way, which is awful, and not only that but it would be very hard to fall in love with someone when this is something you must tell them.
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Avatar n tn
I don't understand, did you share needles or use used needles?
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Avatar n tn
You stated, "It would still be possible for you to catch HIV if you shared syringes, drug-cooking implements, or rinse water." how can you get HIV through drug cooking implements or rinse water? Aren't they outside of the body.  
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Avatar n tn
@ Turbo, while I am sure that we never shared purposely, there may have been a few iffy situations... for example, there may have been one time where my friend who had used a used needle to suck up some of the liquid heroin we cooked, and then I used mine to suck up the rest out of the spoon. We tried not to do that, but, I honestly can't remember 100% because my top priority was to get high when I was addicted and not disease prevention. So that coupled with the fact that my doctor told me I have a rare condition for adults that is a common HIV symptom (adenoid) makes me very concerned.

I hope anyone who IVs or muscles drugs who's reading this is aware that you can catch hiv/hep c from doing what I just explained.
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Avatar n tn
I don't know what to say. I am not an HIV expert. But I thought that once HIV was exposed to the air it would be inactive. Plus the fact that it would be cooked I would imagine it would kill it for sure. But I do not know doing heroin works. I wish the best for you.
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Avatar n tn
Thanks for the support. I'm not an expert by any means either... but I assume that if a large enough amount of blood exits the body, then enters another person's body, that somewhere in the middle of that amount of blood, hiv cells could survive, even if the cells which are exposed to air die. The question then for me is how much blood is that, and could it have passed from my friend's needle to my needle in the spoon w/the cooked heroin?
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Avatar n tn
This last post i think hits on whether or not you were at risk or not. The person that I read has a lot of background on HIV is Teak. Maybe he would know the answer. But I guess he as sleep or something. But ask him.
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Avatar n tn
Anybody else?
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Avatar n tn
It was negative, am still shaking from making the phone call... I have a profound new respect for people who are HIV positive and had to go through that and have the result be positive.
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