Cambodian HIV Inquiry Reportage Continues to Mislead Public About Healthcare Risks

12 Jan

Don't Get Stuck With HIV

One of the remarks that many articles about the Cambodian HIV outbreak are mentioning now, almost as if every journalist is tweaking the same press release and putting their name on it, is about needlestick injuries and the CDC’s estimate that “99.7% of needlestick occurrences involving HIV infected blood do not result in transmission“.

This figure is irrelevant and entirely misleading: receiving an injection or an infusion is nothing like a needlestick injury when some or all of the equipment, or the substance being administered, are contaminated. Needlestick injuries are typically slight and shallow and the inoculant is likely to be very small.

Some of the titles also mention ‘tainted needles‘, but this may give the incorrect impression that reused syringes are not also a likely factor in this outbreak, along with contaminated multi-dose vials of medicines, vaccines, distilled water and other substances.

An injection involves…

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