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How safe are disposable syringes during a blood test?

Q: Every where I read that using disposable syringes during a blood test is all you need to be 100% safe during a blood test but recently I encountered an unpleasant experience. During a blood test I noticed that there was some blood on the person’s gloves. Now, I fear if that blood was infected with HIV and it got transferred to the cotton, which is kept finally on the injection point, is there any risk? I don't know, which disinfectant they use in India on the cotton and whether it kills the virus instantaneously or not. Irrespective of the disinfectant, is there any chance of getting HIV through this?

A:As long as new and sealed disposable syringes and needles are used, without touching the needle with fingers or any other material, it is safe as long as the substance being injected is safe. The situation you describe is wrong and should not have been there, but I do not think you need to worry too much about it from the HIV point of view. Please keep in mind also that the prevalence of HIV in India is very low (less than 1%, compared to the 24% in South Africa) so the probability is that the person before you was also HIV negative, unless the experience was in a special situation for HIV. Do not worry - you will be safe.

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