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Can dried blood on a needle cause AIDS?

Answered by: L.M. Nath
Consultant, Community Medicine
WHO,
Delhi

Q. How important is the presence of fresh blood on a needle in case of a needle prick as far as HIV infection is concerned? Is it possible to pass the HIV virus if somebody pricks me with an old infected needle which does not have fresh blood on it? What is the risk percentage?

A.  Unless there is blood in or on the needle there is no risk of HIV infection. If the blood in the needle has completely dried then too there is no risk of HIV. Please note that sometimes a blood clot can be moist on the inside and virus can survive in the fluid trapped in the clot. However this too dries up if the clot is more than a few hours old. If pricked by a needle that was infected originally but has now completely dried over time, there should not be any cause for concern.

A.  Unless there is blood in or on the needle there is no risk of HIV infection. If the blood in the needle has completely dried then too there is no risk of HIV. Please note that sometimes a blood clot can be moist on the inside and virus can survive in the fluid trapped in the clot. However this too dries up if the clot is more than a few hours old. If pricked by a needle that was infected originally but has now completely dried over time, there should not be any cause for concern.

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