Santé et Services sociaux Québec

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Questions about needles and syringes

  1. Can I contract an STI by sharing a syringe or used needle?
  2. Where can I get clean syringes?
  3. What should I do if I find a used syringe?
  4. What should I do if I accidentally prick myself?

Can I contract an STI by sharing a syringe or used needle?

HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis are infections that can be sexually transmitted. They  can also be transmitted through the blood, which can happen when people share equipment already used to prepare drugs for injection (cocaine, heroin, steroids, etc). When they inject drugs, users also risk injecting HIV, hepatitis B or C viruses, or the syphilis virus directly into their blood. If needles and equipment used for tattooing or piercing are not new or sterilised, they can also transmit HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis.

For more information, consult our brochures :

If you're using drugs keep a sharp eye out for Hepatitis A, B and C Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
Hepatitis C - An insidious infection
One hit, one kit Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
Tattooers and Piercers Protect yourself and your client against HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
Tattoos and Piercing... Protect yourself from AIDS Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
STD: Be Aware and Beware Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
HIV is still around Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre..

Where can I get clean syringes?

In Quebec, clean syringes can be found in 700 sites, including pharmacies, community organizations, CLSCs and hospital complexes where this logo is posted :
Syringues logo
Consult the document Liste officielle des centres d'accès aux seringues du Québec Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre. or phone Info-Santé 811 Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.

What should I do if I find a used syringe?

First of all, prevent children from touching it. If you pick up the syringe, handle it cautiously. Pick up the syringe by the end away from the needle. Place the syringe into a plastic container, close the lid tightly. Bring the container to a CLSC or a pharmacy. 

For more information, consult our brochure You have found a used syringe What to do to avoid accidents and possible transmission of serious infections? This link open a new window..

What to do in case of accidental needlestick injury?

Make the wound bleed a bit and wash it with soap and water. See a doctor quickly, in an emergency room for example, within two hours if possible. Tell the receptionist that you have injured yourself with a used syringe. 

For more information, consult our brochure You have found a used syringe. What to do to avoid accidents and possible transmission of serious infections? This link open a new window..