Detection of HIV-1 DNA in needle/syringes, paraphernalia, and washes from shooting galleries in Miami: A preliminary laboratory report

Syed M. Shah, Paul Shapshak, James E. Rivers, Renée V. Stewart, Norman L. Weatherby, Ke Qin Xin, J. Bryan Page, Dale D. Chitwood, Deborah C. Mash, David Vlahov, Clyde B. McCoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Shared use of injection equipment (needle/syringes), registering, booting, and backloading are practices among injection drug users (IDUs) that increase risk for transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The sharing of injection paraphernalia (including cookers and cottons) and washwater for rinsing used needle/syringes and dissolving drugs could be potential sources for secondary transmission of HIV-1. Laboratory rinses were made from needle/syringes, cottons, and cookers obtained from shooting galleries, and washwaters were obtained from shooting galleries in Miami. Three rinses were analyzed and antibodies to HIV-1 proteins were detected by using Western blot and HIV-1 DNA was detected by using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specific for the gag and envelope genes of HIV-1. Antibodies to HIV-1 proteins were detected in 12 (52%) of 23 rinses from visibly contaminated needle/syringes, in three (18%) of 17 rinses from cottons, in three (14%) of 21 rinses from cookers, and in one (6%) of 17 washwaters. No antibodies were detected in laboratory rinses from visibly clean needles. Using nested PCR followed by Southern blot confirmation of the amplified targets, HIV-1 gag gene DNA was detected in 16 (84%) of 19 and envelope gene DNA in 17 (85%) of 20 laboratory rinses from visibly contaminated needle/syringes. We detected gag and envelope gene DNA, respectively, in three (27%) and four (36%) of 11 cottons, in six (46%) and seven (54%) of 13 cookers, and in five (38%) of 13 and in 10 (67%) of 15 washwaters from shooting galleries. No HIV-1 DNA was detected in laboratory rinses from visibly clean needles. These results indicate that HIV-1 might be present in contaminated cottons, cookers, and washwaters as well as in contaminated needle/syringes at shooting galleries. Reduction of risks of exposure to HIV-1 among IDUs may require modification of behaviors that are ancillary to the act of injection, such as the use of common cookers, cottons, and washwater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Keywords

  • Blood
  • Cooker
  • Cotton
  • HIV-1
  • IDU behavior
  • Injection apparatus
  • Injection drug user (IDU)
  • Injection equipment
  • Needle
  • Paraphernalia
  • Shooting gallery
  • Syringe
  • Wash-water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology

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