AIDS and HIV Infection • Preventing HIV transmission
Preventing transmission of HIV via contaminated needles
Do not share needles or syringes
Injecting drug use is one of the fastest growing routes of HIV infection in many parts of the world, primarily because needles, syringes and drug preparation equipment are frequently shared, enabling rapid spread of the virus.
Avoid invasive, skin-piercing procedures
Ear- or body-piercing, tattoos, acupuncture or any procedure that requires invasive, skin-piercing instruments carry some risks of transmission. If you are considering any of these procedures, make sure that all equipment is properly sterilized.
Do not be afraid to ask questions of the technician or health care personnel. HIV is easily destroyed by heat; instruments should be sterilized by steam or by dry heat. If this is not possible, instruments should be disinfected by boiling.