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Injecting Silicone (Pumping Silicone) ?

What is injecting silicone (pumping silicone)?

Silicone (or other thick liquids) can be injected into body tissue to make certain areas of the body, such as the breasts, buttocks, thighs, and face, look fuller and more feminine. This is sometimes called "pumping".

What we know about injecting silicone (pumping silicone):

About 1 out of every 10 HIV diagnoses in the United States is from injection drug use. The average chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from a needle stick when the needle is known to contain HIV-infected blood is 24 out of 10,000 exposures.

Hepatitis B and C are viruses that infect the liver. Many people with hepatitis B or C don't know they have it because they don't feel sick. Even if you don't feel sick, you can transmit the virus to others. The only way to know for sure if you have hepatitis B or C is to get tested. Your health care provider will recommend a hepatitis B or C test if you have risk factors for these infections, such as injection drug use. If you don't have a health care provider, click here to find contact information for your local health department.

There are medicines to treat hepatitis B. If you've never had hepatitis B, there's a vaccine to prevent it. There are medicines to treat hepatitis C, but they aren't right for everyone. There's no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about hepatitis B and C. Injecting liquids like silicone can also cause other serious health problems - including abscesses, severe swelling of the skin, and disfigurement (and even death) - because they spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Many times, the liquids used in these injections aren't approved for use in the body.

What you can do

A syringe and needle with a biohazard sharps container

You shouldn't inject any substance into your body that isn't prescribed for you by a health care provider. If you inject silicone, here are some things you can do to lower your risk for getting or transmitting HIV and other infections:

Learn about other things you can do to prevent getting or transmitting HIV. +

  • Get tested for HIV. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and that people with certain risk factors get tested more often. People with more than one sex partner, people with other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and people who inject drugs are likely to be at high risk and should get tested at least once a year. If you're HIV-positive and taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), take your medicines as directed by your health care provider. If you learn that you have HIV, the most important thing you can do is to take antiretroviral therapy (ART) the right way, every day. ART is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long they've had the virus or how healthy they are. Being on ART and taking it the right way, every day lowers the amount of HIV (viral load) in your body. If your ART is working, you can stay healthy for many years, and greatly reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to someone who's HIV-negative.
  • Consider taking daily medicine to prevent HIV (called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP). If you've injected drugs to get high in the past 6 months and during that time you've either shared needles or works or been in drug treatment, PrEP may be right for you. Talk to your health care provider about PrEP. If you don't have a health care provider, click here to find contact information for your local health department.
  • Don't have sex if you're high. If you do have sex, taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV and using a condom the right way every time you have sex can reduce your risk of getting or transmitting HIV. Learn how to talk to your partner about condoms and safer sex. And here are some tips for learning how to use a condom the right way.