Practicing safe sex should not be the only concern when it comes to avoiding HIV infection; you also need to be cautious about medical injections if findings of a recent survey are anything to go by.
According to The Standard newspaper, the KENYA AIDS INDICATOR SURVEY has revealed that a significant number of Kenyans are contracting HIV infections from contaminated medical injections. The study pins the situation on several factors which include re-use of needles by medical workers and especially traditional practitioners, poor disposal of used medical waste, and the high number of injections for people who are also HIV positive, among others.
Globally, it’s estimated that there are 250,000 new HIV infections per year as a result of the reuse of needles and syringes.
INFECTED BLOOD CAN LAST FOUR WEEKS
If a needle or syringe is used on an HIV infected person and the same needle is used on another person without proper sterilization, the HIV negative person risks being infected. It had been believed that HIV infected blood on needles, syringes and other medical equipment can survive for up to two hours outside of the body but studies have found that syringes containing HIV infected blood can still transmit HIV even after being rinsed for up to four weeks.
The majority of HIV infections via blood has been among people who inject drugs (PWID).
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE STERILIZED
According to figures by the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 39 percent of injections across the world are administered with equipment that has previously been used and un-sterilized .WHO however maintains that medical equipment should be new or sterilized before use.
The full report on the study is expected to be published in the May issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.