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Monday, July 24, 2000

(late posting to site)

I was wondering if AIDS could live on a needle outside the human body. Here is a letter I got through the e-mail chain from a police department. I was wondering if the what the letter says is possible.

Please read and forward to anyone you know who drives.
My name is Captain Abraham Sands of the Jacksonville, Florida Police Department. I have been asked by state and local authorities to write this e-mail in order to get the word out to car drivers of a very dangerous prank that is occurring in numerous states. Some person or persons have been affixing hypodermic needles to the underside of gas pump handles. These needles appear to be infected with HIV positive blood. In the Jacksonville area alone there have been 17 cases of people being stuck by these needles over the past five months. We have verified reports of at least 12 others in various states around the country. It is believed that these may be copycat incidents due to someone reading about the crimes or seeing them reported on the television. At this point no one has been arrested and catching the perpetrator(s) have become our top priority. Shockingly, of the 17 people who where stuck, eight have tested HIV positive and because of the nature of the disease, the others could test positive in a couple years. Evidently the consumers go to fill their car with gas, and when picking up the pump handle get stuck with the infected needle. IT IS IMPERATIVE TO CAREFULLY CHECK THE HANDLE of the gas pump each time you use one. LOOK AT EVERY SURFACE YOUR HAND MAY TOUCH, INCLUDING UNDER THE HANDLE. If you do find a needle affixed to one, immediately contact your local police department so they can collect the evidence. PLEASE HELP US BY MAINTAINING A VIGILANCE AND BY FORWARDING THIS E-MAIL TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO DRIVES. THE MORE PEOPLE WHO KNOW OF THIS THE BETTER PROTECTED WE CAN ALL BE.

sorry to take so long to post your message, it got lost in my sometimes bad system.
The story that you sent 'reeks' urban myth but at the same time it's not impossible for people doing such a thing. I have read (and heard of) many reports here in Australia, of hold-ups etc. using a needle of blood as the weapon.
To answer your question about whether it is possible for the virus to survive in a needle, well I'm not the expert so l past the question onto my medical consultant and this is what he had to say:

The time HIV survives outside the body is variable, depending on a large number of variables i.e. temperature etc. However the most important variable is the volume of biological material i.e. blood. The virus can survive in a syringe or needle for hours to a day if the volume is sufficient.
Dr Steve Wesselingh
Alfred Hospital/ Infectious Diseases Unit

See also this mention of hoaxes regarding HIV and needles.

Dear Carolena
I wanted to thank you for making it easy for people with AIDS to feel better about themselves and it is good with what you have done I do not have AIDS but for all those ppl who do one day there will be a cure
love and light tessa
I found this saying on an e-mail which was sent to me
"It breaks your heart to see the one you love happy with someone else but is more painful to know that the one you love is unhappy with you"
isn't it sad I thought so and I thought I have got to tell everyone this I hope you felt as sad as what I did when you read this!!!

Sat Oct 21, 2000

I am suffering HIV positive. I take blood from other man when I suffering accident before seven years ago. The man who donate me blood he was HIV positive, so HIV virus comes in my body.HIV virus reacted in my body just 1 month before, according to western blot test(wb). I also tested my wife blood test, but she is negative of HIV.
so u kind information of this matter, also kind information of hospital who treatment of HIV. I have not lot of money, so u kind information who donate of HIV positive patient would thankful to if u give kind information.

you recently posted a message on the HIV/AIDS Positive Stories Website asking for more information on HIV Hospital treatment information. I do not have any information at all about India....infact it would be great for you to tell me more about being HIV+ in India. I will try to find some information for you and will forward it if l have any luck. I'm sorry that l cant help...you could go onto the message board section of the site and post a message there and perhaps someone out there will be able to give some advice.
All the best
Carolena Helderman
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

21 Oct, 2000

Subject: Re: Updated Website & WebBoard

Hello Carolena,
I often have a look at the website. I download the stories so I can read about other peoples stories / experiences. It is a very good site. I am so grateful that there is a site for positive people.
Thank you very much for providing us with an avenue to have our say and to share experiences.
Thanks Bernie.

Tue, 24 Oct, 2000

I need some information from your agency and thought to give you my questions here for some assistance. I am currently engaged to a young man, 48, I am 49, who was homeless five years ago. From reading, I understand that homeless people are frequent substance abusers. The bottom line is that I am fearful that my fiancee could be a high-risk candidate for the HIV/AIDS virus. He tells me that before we began our courtship, that he was getting tested regularly for AIDS. His last testing was July of this year. Are persons who get tested regularly for AIDS at high-risk. I still do not understand quite about this disease. For instance, a person could have the virus (be tested positive for it), and not actually develop the disease until later on in life. I am a very religious person, and as a result of my faith's beliefs, have been abstinent for the past 15 years. However, my fiancee, is not in the same position and has been sexually active during that time. Only recently, for the past 2 months, has he abstained. Him getting tested for AIDS on a regular basis previously does frighten me, because that means that his sexual activity was such that he felt the need to do so. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that he has also been sexually active with men as well. He may be homosexual for all I know. I have hinted at such and he denies being turned on sexually by men. How can I be sure. At least he was honest enough to let me know that he's previously been tested for AIDS. He was married once before, and in the state of Illinois, where he lives, AIDS testing is mandatory before marrying. In Minnesota, it is not. Please help me. He might have the virus and as yet not have AIDS. I love him very much but do not know how honest he has been with me about all of this. I do not want to worry unnecessarily. Many sexual thoughts excite a person, but I just don't quite know what to make of all of this. I don't know if I should marry him or not. I do want this to be right for the both of us. If an AIDS test is negative, is it negative for the virus too. Help!!

Hi there,
I'm replying to your input to the HIV/AIDS Positive Stories Website. Thank you for coming to the site and sending your experiences. I'm in no way an expert on HIV/AIDS, l co-ordinate the website but when it comes to giving advice or medical information....it's not my field of expertise.
I will make a few personal comments and will also suggest a web site for you to visit which should answer all your questions....for as much as l can't answer some questions, at the same time l do want to see that you find a way to do so. Your friend would have been having tests for the HIV virus and to be sure of your negative results you would have to have more than one test. If these tests come up negative then it is unlikely that it will appear later in life unless the person has been infected by HIV at a later time.
I will suggest two good websites which will inform you more about HIV and another site where you can ask Dr's questions and read other peoples questions/answers.
For good HIV education/ the basic facts try http://www.avert.org
To ask questions of Dr's http://www.thebody.com
This will help you and l hope that your able to find all that you need.
All the best,
Carolena Helderman
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Thu Nov 2, 2000
Mens Holistic Health Worker

Great looking website, well done. I checked out the Directory and was surprised to see only the non government HIV/AIDS agencies listed. No NSW area health services listed, no sexual health centres etc. So the directory contains about 10% of the services that PLWHA can access. Could you do something about this. They are all listed in Contacts.
Best Wishes

Hi Greg,
thanks for checking out the site and I'm happy that you like the look of it. I'm more than happy to add more listings to the directory, can you tell me where they are listed..you said 'in contacts' but I'm not sure where you mean. Thanks for your input.
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Sat Nov 11, 2000

I am looking for some information on people who intentionally infect others because they feel that there is no way out for themselves. If you know where I could find this information please e-mail me.

I'm going to be really vague here but l do recall reading such things but can't point you to any specific articles.
May l suggest going to http://thebody.com they have extensive information and POZ magazine is linked from here and l think they may have done an article on that subject.
All the best with your search and perhaps you'd like to post your findings back onto the HIV/AIDS Positive Stories web site....hope so.
Carolena Helderman
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Wed Nov 22, 2000
location: Michigan

Where do I begin, on February 15 2000, I began to feel very tired!!
.......read this story

Sun Nov 26, 2000
location: Australia

Hi I am just wondering about HIV/AIDS test how do they work and what is the waiting period, to find out the result?
I am asking this question as I was infected with an STD and am now going to the doctor for my follow up pap-smear, could you also give me some information on symptoms?

Hello Kirsten,
Sorry for the delay in answering your question. I'd recommend that you talk to your Dr when you go back and those questions will be answered but I'll tell you the name of two web sites which have sections which will answer all your questions and give detailed information on symptoms etc.
The site l maintain does not have this info. As it's just set up for people's stories but l always try and send people in a direction which may help them out.
Hope it tells you all the things you need.
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Tue Nov 28, 2000
location: Peru

Please it is possible send me posters with the AIDS or other information with this. We are the Instituto de Medicina Tropical in enfermedades infecciosas y tropicales from Hospital Cayetano Heredia - Universidad Peruana Cayetano Hereida.
Warm regards
L@dy Murrugarra Velarde

I'm sorry but this site is not created by an organisation therefore there are no posters or print material available. In the near future l will be adding some Australian AIDS posters to the website, perhaps you could copy some of those images from the website. I will contact you when these pages are updated.
Carolena Helderman
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Thu Nov 30, 2000
location: Springfield, MO

Please E-mail and inform me about HIV, Because I an worried, May be I have HIV virus.

I'd like to suggest two web sites that you may wish to visit and you should find all the answers there.
I hope this answers your questions about the virus, otherwise it's best to ask your Dr or local Health Centre.
All the best,
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Hi Carolena I appreciate your knowledge on HIV. But I am not even sexually active right now since I am going though a divorce. And I tested negative for HIV virus. Please stop sending me those information about AIDS. And I did not write that letter to you. I do not have AIDS and do not have reason to have AIDS. Thank you

Well this is one onf those times when I'm not really sure what is going on.....l was sent the e-mail above and replied to the address but as you can see..........not the right person.
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

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