Q:

How long can HIV survive in a needle?

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Quick Answer

HIV can survive in a used needle for up to six weeks, according to NAM Aidsmap. When a discarded needle is reused, blood in the vacuum-sealed barrel of the needle can have live HIV in it and cause infection, according to AIDS Vancouver Island.

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Full Answer

While used needles can be dangerous, there have been no reported cases of HIV infection caused by contact with a discarded needed, according to AIDS Vancouver Island. This is because HIV is readily killed when exposed to air, so when there is contact with oxygen in the needle of a syringe, blood in the needle is typically not infectious. Only reusing the needle poses a risk of infection.

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