STD from Needles

Some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are bacterial, others are viral, and others are parasitic. Some STDs can be contracted via bodily fluids, others from skin-to-skin contact. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of how the nine most common STDs are contracted and transmitted. We recently added a more comprehensive list of STDs which contains eleven of the most common STDs and their symptoms.

Needles are used in medical procedures all over the world, and unfortunately they’re also used by drug addicts – which is why it’s important to always use clean needles if you’re going to inject anything into the body. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s an illicit drug like heroin or methamphetamine, injecting any substance will increase your risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis or other bloodborne pathogens (including West Nile virus). 

AIDS Needle

Needle Sharing. It is very important to not use AID needles or an HIV needle. AIDS needles or needles infected with AIDS should be properly discarded and never used again. HIV needles at gas pumps are also a hazard. AIDS from tattoo needles is another risk. Sharing needles from body piercing or tattooing equipment will greatly increase your chances of contracting HIV/AIDS.

How long can HIV live on a needle? 

If the syringe is full of blood, HIV can live up to 42 days. This is because blood carries HIV. How long can HIV live on a needle tip? If there is no blood, then HIV can only live a few minutes to a few hours on any surface depending on how high the viral load is. How long can HIV stay on a needle? Outside of the body, HIV loses most of its effectiveness to infect – about 90% to 99% in just a few hours. Chances of getting HIV from needle poke? Can you get HIV from a needle prick? Actually less than 1% chance of getting HIV from a needle poke or prick. However, if the needle goes through the skin into a vein (blood transfusions, sharing needles for drugs), then the chances of getting HIV are extremely high.

AID Needles
HIV can eventually turn into AIDS when the immune system is so damaged. It will be more difficult for a person to fight off diseases and infections. This usually happens over the course of 8 to 10 years if you do not seek treatment with antiretroviral drugs. Aids needles are extremely dangerous, and need to be disposed of in a proper manner.  

how long can HIV live on a needle

Hepatitis A, B, and C

Hepatitis A, B, and C can all be contracted through needle sharing. 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a very contagious STD that affects the liver. Hepatitis A is a viral infection, and currently does not have a cure, however, treatment options are available.

Ways Hepatitis A is spread: Hepatitis A can be transmitted by close, intimate contact with an infected individual but may also be spread via contaminated food or water. In addition, it can be contracted from shared needles or sexual contact with someone who has the virus. It is spread when infected feces come into contact with an individual’s digestive tract. Hence, the usual method of sexual transmission following anal sex or analingus. Hepatitis A is preventable by a vaccine.


Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an incurable viral STD that causes liver infection. Hepatitis B is a viral infection and currently does not have a cure. However, treatment options are available which effectively suppress the virus and reduce the risk of complications, such as liver failure.

Ways Hepatitis B is spread: Hepatitis B can be spread by exposure to infected blood and various body fluids like menstrual, vaginal and seminal fluids, shared needles or tattoo equipment, or from mother to baby at birth. More than 90 percent of healthy adults who contract hepatitis B virus will recover naturally from the virus within the first year. Hepatitis B is preventable by a vaccine.


Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an incurable viral STD that mainly affects the liver. Hepatitis C is a viral infection and currently does not have a cure. However, treatment options are available to control the disease.

Ways Hepatitis C is spread: Hepatitis C is spread by contact with blood or bodily fluids from a person infected with the virus, shared needles or from mother to baby at birth. Injection drug use is the most common means of transmission of these diseases in the US. There is not currently a vaccine/immunization for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis B and C
Some STDs such as hepatitis B and C live outside the body longer than HIV so if someone uses a dirty needle they could transmit these diseases to others. 

If someone pricks themselves with an infected needle they should see their doctor right away to make sure they are tested and treated. 

Other STDs and Needles

Tiny cuts are caused by razors and needles on the skin. STIs and STDs can be contracted through these tiny nicks. Syphilis is actually pretty common to be contracted through needle sharing, believe it or not. If a razor has been used on a syphilis sore, then using it on another person increases their risk of contracting the disease. 

Syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia can be contracted from needle sharing or using another person’s razor. The risk is higher among female sex workers who share needles with clients or each other. Having these STDs also puts you at a greater risk of contracting HIV. 

AIDS needle

Which STD test should I get after a needle prick or poke?

Whether needle stick injuries are caused by a healthcare professional or you are sharing needles from drug use, there is a risk of contracting an STD. People who work with healthcare patients are at risk as well, such as lawyers and social workers. 

It is best to get tested by a medical professional if you have shared a needle or suffered from a needle injury. Our staff will be able to direct you to the right test and when to take it. 


If you are struggling with drug use, the best prevention against contracting HIV/AIDs is to not share any needles whatsoever. If you need help quitting there are many treatment program options in your area.


Many STDs and STIs do not display symptoms or portray symptoms that mimic other illnesses. Get tested for all of these STDs today at any of our 4,500+ locations!

Medically Reviewed by on July 1, 2022

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Author: Esther Jordan

Esther Jordan has been a writer ever since she can remember. She has always loved the free gift of self-expression through journaling, creating stories, and sharing life experiences in front of audiences. Public speaking and creating content has been a strong suit of hers since high school. Immediately after college, she received a paid position as an search engine optimization (SEO) writer in 2010 when SEO was still a very brick and mortar concept for a lot of small businesses. It was a time of do-it-yourself websites and online magic that everyone wanted and either referred to it as SEO or pay-per-click (PPC).