June #48 : Hypodermic Hysteria - by Gabi Horn

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents

Afterimage

Beyond Condoms: Introduction

Beyond Condoms

Beyond Condoms: Life After Latex

Ouch! Stop the Pain

Catching Up With . . . Jim Howley

Drag King

Queen of Hearts

S.O.S.

To the Editor

Hypodermic Hysteria

Streethearts

POZarazzi: Party Poop

Frogs Out of Hot Water

Clip 'n' Save

Swing Vote

Think Stink

"WeHo" Heave Ho

Little Rocked

Say What

Obits

Patriot Games

Policy Permutations

Ghost Reader

Show & Tell

Rescue 3-8-7

Dose Encounters

Nurse a Grudge

A Bum Rap

Where There’s Smoke...

Feelin' No Pain

Tranny Time

Where to Find It

Get Over It

Volunteers Wanted

Not Your Typical Tearjerker

Displace Dysplasia

Prevention Extension

Posterboy Always Rings Twice

Sense and Sinsemilla

POZ Picks

Aunt Evelyn's Letters



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


email print

June 1999

Hypodermic Hysteria

by Gabi Horn

Urban legends in the age of AIDS

Everyone knows that urban legends spread like…well, viruses. (Remember the one about  crocodiles in the subway?) But judging from the terror tales that clogged the Internet in March, legends about viruses are in a category of their own. First to fly over the wires was one about HIV-infected syringes in pay-phone change slots. Then another mass e-mailing warned: “Check your chairs when going to the movie theater!! An incident occurred recently in Dallas when a woman sat in a theater and something poked her. She got up and found a needle with a note attached: ‘Welcome to the real world—you’re HIV positive.’” The e-mails claim falsely to come from police in Dallas and Virginia and report that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “is aware of similar events in several cities.” The rumors’ kicker? “All the needles tested have been positive for HIV.”

After its hotline received an avalanche of calls, the CDC set up a webpage (www.cdc.gov/nchstp/hiv aids/pubs/faq5a.htm) to debunk the rumors. Though it confirmed that one Virginian had been pricked by a needle in a pay phone and that another syringe was found in a vending machine, it stated: “Reports have falsely indicated that the CDC confirmed the presence of HIV in the needles. The CDC has not tested such needles. The majority of these warnings appear to have no foundation in fact.”

On the syringe tip, Dr. Nadia Abdala and her colleagues at Yale University recently asked a pointed question: How long can HIV survive in needles? Four weeks was their answer, published in January’s Journal of Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Since HIV thrives in moist solutions—and deactivates when it dries out—airtight syringes are prime for viral survival, Abdala said.

The study bolsters the case for syringe swaps, which have been found to cut needle circulation time from three weeks to three days. Nevertheless, Abdala said, “Since the government’s decision not to fund needle exchange is political, not scientific, we can’t tell what effect it will have.”




[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    dave41
    Bethany
    Oklahoma


    usuallyhappy
    Palm Springs
    California


    Sexynyrican
    Brooklyn
    New York


    albsur7436
    San Francisco
    California
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Survey
Pop Watch

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.