Needle/syringe combinations were collected from three shooting galleries in South Florida and tested for the presence of antibodies to HIV-1. Fifteen of 148 needles (10.1 percent) tested positive for HIV-1 antibody. Seropositivity rates did not vary by the day of the week of collection, nor by shooting gallery from which they were collected. When the needle appeared to contain blood residue, 20.0 percent were positive versus 5.1 percent with no blood residue. These findings suggest that needles/syringes used in shooting galleries are likely to serve as reservoirs and/or vectors of transmission of the HIV-1 virus, and that although visual inspection of the needle/syringe may be useful in lessening the change for transmission, even the visually 'clean' needles may result in transmission of infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health