can sewing needles transmit hiv

Sewing Needles & HIV; Why You Need to Care

Needlestick injuries are the most common among healthcare personnel who are inadvertently exposed to contaminated blood (occupational exposure). It is believed that around three million such needlestick injuries occur globally each year, with one million occurring in Europe. However, not all such injuries are recorded. 

Can Sewing Needles Transmit HIV?

The danger of HIV transmission is lower than that of hollow bore needles, solid bore needles, such sewing needles. Once outside the body, the virus probably dies or degrades quickly. 

Even if the sewing needle had HIV-infected blood on it, the amount of blood would have been so little that the virus would die within seconds if exposed to the air. If you haven’t been infected, sleep and go about your business without caring about it.

If you feel anxiety, do a 4th generation AG/AB test (Finger Prick/Veins) 16 days after exposure, and we are confident you will come out negative.

What Is a Needle Stick Injury?

A needle stick or sharps injury occurs when a needle or other sharp item (such as a syringe, scalpel, or broken glass) penetrates the skin after coming into touch with blood, tissue, or other bodily fluids.

Injuries and infections from discarded needles in the community (non-occupational exposure) are uncommon. There have been no recorded incidences of HIV infection as a result of this type of needle contact.

Hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV, are blood-borne viruses that might possibly be transmitted in this manner. The likelihood of infection after a skin puncture injury is determined by if the person who used the object previously had an infection, the amount of virus in their blood, the volume of blood involved, the type of needle or syringe used, the time since it was used, and the form of the damage.

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) should be considered after a known HIV infection. PEP is more than 80% effective in reducing HIV transmission through needlestick injuries. A different type of PEP is also available to protect against hepatitis B.

How Many Cases of HIV Have Resulted from Occupational Needle Injuries?

Up to 2013, there were 58 verified cases of HIV transmission to healthcare professionals in the United States, with only one since 1999. There have only ever been five confirmed cases of HIV infection in the UK as a result of a needlestick injury in a hospital environment, and none in the last 20 years. The number of persons infected with HIV as a result of an unintentional needlestick injury is estimated to be approximately 100 people worldwide.

What Is the Risk from Needle Stick Injuries in Healthcare Settings?

The probability of HIV transmission via a needlestick involving HIV-positive blood is estimated to be 0.23 per cent or one in 500. 

However, the transmission probability reviews on which this estimate is based are mostly from the 1980s and 1990s, before antiretroviral treatment became widely available. 

Because of the efficacy of HIV therapy, someone living with HIV in the UK may have no detectable virus in their blood, decreasing the risk even more. PEP is no longer recommended following occupational exposure to a source with an undetectable viral load, according to UK guidelines.

A skin puncture injury with a hollow needle in the vein or artery of an HIV-positive person with a late-stage illness and a high viral load poses the greatest risk of HIV infection to healthcare personnel. Sharps Directive of the European Union, enacted in 2013, establishes safeguards for healthcare workers.

The chance of contracting other blood-borne viruses via a contaminated needle is far higher than that of contracting HIV (6-30 per cent for hepatitis B and 1.8 per cent for hepatitis C). As a result, healthcare professionals are advised to get the hepatitis B vaccine, even though there is no vaccine available for hepatitis C.

How To Sew Properly to Avoid Injuries?

Here are some tips which would help you to avoid injuries while sewing.

  • Learn the distance. The moving needle through which you feed your cloth is the most evident danger while using a sewing machine. The greatest thing you can do is take the simplest precaution: keep your fingers apart from the needle.
  • Concentrate. To be safe when working on your sewing machine, you must concentrate on what you’re sewing.
  • Make sure your needles are intact.
  • Don’t sew over pins. Sewing over pins can shatter them and cause them to shoot out at you. A broken pin, in addition to being a risk, might also cause harm to your machine or fabric.
  • Use the perfect machine.
  • Turn off the machine when you aren’t using it.

What Is the HIV Risk from Discarded Needles?

When drug users or others leave used needles or syringes in public locations, it can cause anxiety and raise worries about the potential of HIV transmission. People may tread on abandoned needles in parks, play areas, beaches, public restrooms, or roadways, or youngsters may handle them. Workers in the waste industry are also in danger of coming into touch with needles that have been dumped.

In the United Kingdom, there is a very low prevalence of HIV among persons who inject drugs, thanks to needle exchange programs. 

While HIV transmission via a discarded needle is theoretically conceivable, needles discovered in the community are considerably less likely than those found in healthcare facilities to cause infection since they have been exposed to the environment, and the injuries are typically minor. 

HIV is a delicate virus that cannot live if it gets exposed to the elements. When there are lower temperatures, more blood, and larger syringes, the virus has a better chance of surviving.

Only five instances of blood-borne viral infections were discovered in a study of 1500 reported global cases of needlestick injuries in 2015, all of which were hepatitis B or C.

The two occurrences of hepatitis B that have been linked to discarded needles were both in persons who were not vaccinated and did not receive proper treatment following their exposure. An instance of acute hepatitis B infection in an adult was reported in Australia in 2011, two months after a discarded needlestick injury. In the 1990s, a 4-year-old child in Spain was diagnosed with suspected acute hepatitis B after being pierced by a needle left by a neighbor who had HIV and hepatitis B.


According to the details and events discussed above, we get to know that the sewing needle does not transmit HIV normally but still, there are rare chances that it can happen if they are in contact with the HIV positive’s blood. So be careful.

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