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Can I get HIV infection from a used lancet?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1995
Answered : 4036 Questions
39 years, 5 ft - 10 inches.

i used my brother's glucometer to test my sugar twice yesterday (i am not a diabetic but he is). i changed the lancet but got a feeling that its not new. so i cleaned it with a edt (alcohal) laden tissue and then washed it under water after dipping the tip in soap and then wiped the end with a clean towel. any chance of getting hiv or any other infection. he is diabetic but no other known infection/ condition. i checked with him but hes not sure if it was a old lancet or a new one.
Wed, 2 May 2012 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Pragnesh Vachharajani 37 minutes later

Thanks for query.

The first act of cleaning with alcohol swab was fine,but after wards washing it under tape water can do more harm then good.You are aware that the tape water is not at all sterile.Fortunately the HIV virus is very fragile and it can be killed by any antiseptic solution.

What you have done was absolutely not warranted. In case of sharing the used lancet you can get any infection which can transmitted by blood or body fluids including HIV. Normally the new lancet is capped so that you can identify it easily. You have to remove the cap before using it.

The person with whom you might have shared lancet is your brother and you know him,so chances of having any major infection like HIV is not there,unless he is positive for it.Apart from this you have chances of other infection from contaminated water that you have used for cleaning and a towel that was used for wiping.

The best thing you can do at present is wait for some time.Then if you have some local reactions or some complains like fever,weakness etc,you need to visit your doctor and he will advise some tests required depending upon his clinical judgment.

Please take care next time.

I hope this answers your query,I will be available for follow up.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can I get HIV infection from a used lancet? 6 hours later
it was a capped lancet. thanks.
Answered by Dr. Pragnesh Vachharajani 2 hours later
Hi Puneetsuri,

Good to hear from you.As you said it was a capped lancet it must be new.Further cleaning was not needed.

Any way,I hope you have got right reply. Do not worry now.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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