It is ‘extremely rare’ to contract HIV or Hepatitis from a needle stick injury, a public health expert has said in response to spiking by injection reports.
A growing number of women have reported being spiked in clubs and bars across Scotland in recent weeks.
One of the most concerning aspects of these reports is the claims that the spiking has taken place after being injected.
Some women have reported having a red mark on their body after blacking out the night before.
This has led to some victims reportedly getting tested to see if they have contracted any viruses, such as HIV, following these incidents.
John Mooney, a consultant in public health for NHS Grampian, said that the chances of any of these tests coming back positive are slim.
He said: “We are aware Police Scotland is investigating reported incidents of spiking by injection.
“We know this is concerning, but it must be remembered that these cases are extremely unusual.
“There has been a great deal of coverage of incidents of spiking by injection. Generally speaking, most people will feel the pain of a needle, even under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
“Injecting someone with enough drugs to incapacitate them would likely take between 15-20 seconds, long enough for an individual to realise what is happening.
“I would like to remind everyone, that it is extremely rare to contact HIV or Hepatitis from a needle stick injury.
“If you are concerned you have had contact with bodily fluids which may contain HIV or Hepatitis, it is important you seek help as soon as possible by calling 111.”
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Pubs, bars and nightclubs have already pledged to take action to prevent incidents of spiking from happening.
Mr Mooney added that incidents of spiking can also take place at house parties and urged Scots to challenge ‘suspicious behaviour’ when they see it.
He added: “It remains the case that alcohol is the drug most used to spike drinks, but other substances have been reported.
“Men and women alike are at risk of being spiked. Spiking can occur, not just in licensed premises, but also at house parties.
“We all have a part to play in keeping each other safe and reducing the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs; not only by taking sensible precautions on nights out, but also by challenging any suspicious behaviour.
“Whether you know them or not, if you suspect an individual is spiking drinks, call them out on it, or let venue staff know of your concerns.”
Earlier today, we reported that a Dundee University student said she was spiked with a needle in her thigh at a queue outside a nightclub in the city.
Katy Stevenson said she had no memory of her night, but woke up the next morning to find a red puncture wound in the skin of her leg.
The area around the injection site was also badly bruised.
Katy was then taken to accident and emergency at Ninewells Hospital where doctors confirmed the wound on her leg was consistent with an injection.
Police are continuing to investigate the incident.