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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Community
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Avatar universal

Blood draw risk

iHad a HIV duo test ,venipuncture, 5 days ago. It was negative. Now Im worrying if the needle was contaminated.....i think its anxiety and phobia but can some fresh or dried blood in the needle cause an infection i.e HIV. I saw the syringe and it was clean.....worried about the needle. Been having nightmares about this event. And if there was hiv virus in the needle will the DUO test pick it as it was drawn into the same syringe.....that means the blood sample send to the lab would have been contaminated with the virus from the needle. Lastly will such a situation cause the needle to clot and how long will a blood clotting occur in the needle if it was really contaminated . I thank you for your time, patience and understanding . I am just trying to rationalise things. Thanks
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there.  It sounds like you are having some problems with anxiety revolving around HIV.   You just got good news about testing negative and now you are worried about getting infected from the needle that was used to test you.   That is irrational obsessive thinking.

Here's a few facts:  #1 HIV does not survive outside the body for very long - probably just a few minutes upon exposure to air.   It's actually a fairly fragile virus.

#2 When doctors or nurses accidentally get stuck by a bloody needle that was just used on a patient that they know is HIV positive, they only get infected 0.3% of the time.  Or in other words, 99.7% of the time, nothing happens.  Hospitals keep accurate records and medical personnel must report such incidents for insurance / liability reasons, so the data is reliable.  That's how difficult it is to become infected.

#3  You had blood being draw OUT of your body.   As soon as that needle hit your arm, your blood (which is under pressure) flowed out of your body and into the syringe. Nothing was going the other direction into your bloodstream.   The reason why IV drug users can become infected is that they are using a hypodermic that someone who has HIV has previously used (and now has HIV infected blood inside of it), filled it with a liquid and then injected that liquid into their vein, carrying any live HIV particles with it.

#4  The nurse / technician who drew your blood for the test is trained specifically to NOT reuse hypodermics or needles.  As soon as they are done drawing the blood, the needle goes into a sharps disposal container.   They don't put in on the desk, in a drawer or in their pocket.  Also, modern needles are designed in such a way that it is obvious that they have been used (you have to open a cover over the needle that cannot be closed again).

#5  The person who had their blood drawn before you would have to be HIV positive.  I don't know the exact percentage, but way less than 1% of the general population is HIV positive.  If the needle had not been used on an HIV positive patient, you could jab it in arm all day and would never become infected.

When you put all of these things together, you literally have a better chance of being struck by lightning right after winning the lottery than becoming infected with HIV in this circumstance.

Now, hopefully that eased your fears.  But from the sounds of it, you might be suffering from OCD.  OCD can make you doubt yourself and start saying "yeah but what if...".   You just read a bunch of facts that most people who don't have OCD would read and say "Oh, ok, I'm fine.  Cool." and go on with their lives.  If you have OCD, you can't dismiss your fears and they keep rolling around in your head even though they are obviously unfounded.  This is a medical problem that can be treated.  I recommend seeing a therapist who can give you a definite diagnosis and recommend treatment.



Avatar universal
Hi Sparky my sincere appreciation on your comments and reassurances . It's very if you to take the time to response . I feel better now but some of the "what ifs" are still there Thank you . Do you think that my reaction to this is OCD or HIV phobia. Really cannot understand how suddenly after a blood test for HIV these thoughts have suddenly trapped me. I don't live in the US and I have a question . If there was reallyHIV  blood in the needle it would not have been pumped into the vein but rather drawn out when the syringe plunger was pulled back . After some blood was drawn into the syringe about 2-3ml the doctor worked the plunger a little could this have caused blood drawn out to be pumped back into the veins . He was using the BD syringe n needle which came in a complete set when opened . There is no safety lock on the needle cap .  Appreciate your patience on this . Best regards
2 Comments
HI Batam.   Glad to have eased your worry and anxiety.   I'm not a doctor and I haven't talked to you in person, but from what you have written, it does sound like OCD to me.  That's why I suggested seeing a therapist who can make a definitive diagnosis.

From what I understand, OCD can be triggered in people who have experienced a traumatic emotional experience.   Confronting your mortality or the possibility of becoming sick with a chronic condition can qualify as a traumatic experience.  Perhaps you never thought about your own death before and this test forced you to think about it and the OCD "yeah but what if..." machine turned on.

To answer your question, I don't think that any HIV tainted blood was pumped back into your bloodstream.  I've had numerous blood tests over the years (mostly for yearly checkups - cholesterol monitoring) and never has the person drawing my blood done anything that would reverse the flow of blood back into my vein.  Once they get the needle in the vein and it starts flowing, they let it fill and then pull the needle out. The doctor might have been adjusting the whole hypodermic, but there would be no reason for him to push down on the plunger.  I think your "yeah but what if..." part of your brain is still trying to find a reason to justify your anxiety.

And this just occurred to me:  if there was HIV tainted blood in the needle, if would have been sucked into the hypodermic with your blood.  If that had happened, you test would have come back positive.  It didn't - it was negative.   Right?   Right!

You are going to be fine dude.  You are not infected with HIV.  You might have OCD, so look into doing something about that.  If you let it go untreated, it can make your life miserable.
Thanks Sparky your sincerity and views in helping me is much appreciated . I'm especially glad to hear your views on the fact that if needle had blood in it there will be tell tale signs in the HIV blood test. That helped very much with my ocd. I'm getting a few books to read on how to tackle my problem . Meanwhile thanks again n I'm sure many people have benefitted from your sincere effort to help. Take care .
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