• A Facebook user warned people to be extra careful when using tissue dispensers in public toilets
  • He shared photos wherein a syringe can be seen sticking out of the dispenser
  • He said it’s possible that these needles are used and contaminated with blood-borne diseases

A concerned netizen took to social media to warn people to be extra careful when using tissue dispensers in public toilets.

In his Facebook account, Kenny Chiu shared several photos, along with the warning. In several of the photos, a syringe can be seen sticking out of the dispenser.

He wrote: “Public service announcement, to all my friends, families and to the public.

Please be careful when using the public toilets. Check the bottom of the toilet paper dispensers before you reach for it.

There are used needles that are purposely placed under the toilet paper dispensers by some inconsiderate human beings. It is possible that these needles are used and contaminated with blood-borne diseases/viruses such as eg. Hepatitis B, HIV etc.

If you ever get injected by one of these, please go to your doctors or the nearby hospitals for a check up.

Note: HIV infections does not show immediately. It takes around 12 weeks for your body to show any positive results. Meanwhile, the doctor maybe providing you TRUVADA pills (PrEP pills) to help prevent you from getting HIV infections.

Many thanks. Take care everyone.”

His post, which has become viral, received both positive and negative feedback from other social media users.

Most of the naysayers said that it is impossible to get infected with blood-borne diseases/viruses such as HIV when you get pricked by a needle because the virus dies once it is outside the body.

According to an article by The HIV Helpline, based on the research done by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control), it was revealed that  HIV does not survive well outside the body, making the possibility of environmental transmission remote. However, as far as inanimate objects are concerned, needles are found to be one place that the virus can survive a bit longer and this is because of the airtight space between the needle tip and the plunger.

According to an article by AIDS Map, studies have shown that HIV can survive in syringes for up to six weeks.

The virus is more likely to survive when there are lower temperatures, greater volumes of blood and within larger syringes.

However, there’s no reported case of HIV infection through contact with a needle discarded in a public place.

Whether or not Chiu’s viral Facebook post should be a cause for alarm, some netizens commented that it wouldn’t hurt us if we become more careful.