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Needlestick injuries

If skin is punctured by a sharp medical tool like a scalpel or needle on a syringe, it is called a ‘needlestick injury’.

Needlesticks don’t just happen in hospitals – stepping on a needle in park is the same thing. Infection by HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C in these situations is rare. Seek medical attention immediately. Follow the links below to find trusted information about needlestick injuries.

Last reviewed: February 2014

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Treating needlestick injuries

In Western Australia to date there has not been a documented case of a person contracting HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C from a needlestick injury that occurred in a community setting.

Read more on WA Health website

Hepatitis C virus - Lab Tests Online AU

Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver. In most cases, it is contracted through exposure to blood (usually from sharing contaminated needles while injecting drugs or, before 1990, through a blood transfusion) and it can be passed from mother to baby. Other ways it can occasionally be transmitted include needlestick injuries in a healthcare setting, sharing razor blades and toothbrushes, tattooing and body piercing and rarely through sexual transmission where blood-to-blood contact occurs. Hepatitis C antibody is produced in response to exposure to the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The most common test for HCV looks for these antibodies in your blood. Other tests detect the presence of the actual virus, the amount of virus present, or determine the specific subtype of virus.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

HEP A, B AND C

Read more on Hepatitis NSW website

Safety and first aid A to Z

Find safety and first aid articles by A to Z.

Read more on WA Health website

First aid and medical

Safety information that relates to medical and first aid topics.

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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can be transmitted during birth, during sex and through blood- to-blood contact. All children, young people, and adults at higher risk, should be vaccinated.

Read more on NSW Health website

Dengue

Dengue virus is spread by two types of mosquitoes that prefer to live indoors. Travellers are at risk if they visit an area that has the dengue mosquito.

Read more on NSW Health website

FAQs on HIV

Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about HIV infection and AIDS.

Read more on AFAO – Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations website

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus. Its passed on by blood-to-blood contact, when infected blood enters another persons bloodstream. It is sometimes called hep C.

Read more on WA Health website

What is Hep C? - Hepatitis NSW :Hepatitis NSW

Hepatitis NSW provide information and education to people at risk, people affected by viral hepatitis and to workers in the viral hepatitis sector.

Read more on Hepatitis NSW website

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