Man pricked by HIV-infected needle in taxi, dumped by girlfriend for that
From Beijing News
A man in Beijing got his knee pricked by the needle of an HIV-infected syringe on the evening of August 21 when he was on a taxi cab. Even though the preliminary test showed he has not been infected, he was still uneasy and anxiously waiting for. His girlfriend, on hearing the news, broke up with him in fear.
The news has obviously sent shock waves of alarm across the city. For years, unsubstantiated rumors have been circulating in the country that vindictive HIV/AIDS patients are wandering on the street and stabbing random pedestrians with needles containing their blood, but no specific victim has been confirmed and identified by a reliable news outlet. That is, until now. Many netizens have voiced concern about contracting HIV in public spaces.
The wound from the needle prick on Xu Tian’s right knee.
The syringe, uncapped, was left in the magazine rack strapped onto the back of the front passenger seat of the cab. Xu Tian (pseudonym), 37, felt the pain on his right knee being pressed against the seat back when the cab swerved around a street’s corner. He immediately asked the cab driver to pull over. He found the needle of a syringe sticking out of the magazine and pointing to him. There was even some yellowish sticking fluid remaining inside the syringe.
He took the syringe to three hospitals to have its content tested, but was told by all of them that they couldn’t do it. He even contacted the local police to file a report for his case, hoping to get help from the forensics with testing of the needle, but the police said it was an accidental injury and hence did not qualify for a forensic testing service. Finally, at Chaoyang District’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, he was told by stern-looking experts that there are HIV antibodies in the fluid. Xu Tian recalled that he “flumped down into a chair” on hearing the news.
He was redirected to Ditan Hospital for a blood test on the afternoon of August 22, which showed a negative result. “The doctor also prescribed some medication that cost 2,500 yuan (US$395). Both drugs are HIV blockers,” Xu said.
A doctor said that to absolutely rule out possibility of infection, Xu will have to come back for three more tests in the next three months. But he also assured Mr. Xu and people panicked by the likelihood of being pricked by an HIV needle that transmission in this manner is very unlikely, given that the virus can barely survive outside the human body or in dry environments.
Xu is not consoled, “I am not scared of dying, but I am scared of dying in such a stupid way.” Xu said that the side effects after taking HIV-blocking medications are quite obvious. He feels nauseated and puked, “Like I got drunk,” and the fact that he has to deal with it for three months is really not comforting.
What dejects him more is that his girlfriend, with whom he had been in a relationship for three months, broke up with him on learning about it. “I am already 37. I was going to take her home to meet my parents during the Chinese New Year and then marry her.”
Mr. Gong, the cab driver, said he did not know where the syringe came from. He took on the night shift at 6 p.m. that day. Before Mr. Xu got in, he only had three female passengers who sat in the back of the cab. “I didn’t see any of them putting things inside (the magazine rack).”
Beijing police have stepped in and launched investigation into the matter to determine if the syringe was intentionally left behind by a person with ulterior motive.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo
顺顺的筷乐生活：Be careful in public spaces.
艾灸疗法100问：So, better not touch or move anything in public spaces!
奇毛玲两可葩：It’s so horrible~~I don’t even dare to take a taxi from now on~~ What if I get AIDS from that?
Hathaway—：A hatred for the society… It’s scary.
一阵微风816：Isn’t that horrendous? The cab drivers shouldn’t only solicit business. They should be mindful of sanitation inside the cab. The relevant department should start a big overall check on cab sanitation! To offer protection necessitated by the building of an international metropolis!
kfcktsc：How come Beijing has become like this?… Beijing wasn’t like this before.
Khuntoria-蘑菇肉肉：Damn. No more taxi rides~~~ Why I feel that dangerous elements are lurking everywhere?