« Go Back

Dental instrument cut hand


Just wanted to know the chance of transmission from a sharp dental object cutting you after 6-7 days sitting in dirty area waiting to be bagged and sterilised? If instrument still had dried blood etc would that increase chance? I've read hiv would be inactivated as its exposed to air but other answers say low risk so just wanted to ask.



Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of HIV transmission in the event that you had received a cut from a sharp dental object that has had dried blood on it from 6-7 days prior.

From the information given, we determine this scenario to be No Risk (HIV transmission is not possible in the given scenario). Consider the following: "HIV does not survive outside the body. However, it can survive over 40 days in a completely sealed environment (i.e syringe) (1). If one is penetrated with a syringe that contains the HIV virus there is a chance of 0.6 to 2.4% that transmission will occur (2). This is a high risk practice for HIV transmission."

The scenario you decsribed includes a sharp device that does not have a completely sealed cavity, and thus, exposes any HIV positive fluid to oxygen. HIV is considered to be extremely volatile when outside the human body, and is quickly rendered inactive when outside the human host (3).

Recommendation: No need for HIV screening, please refer to health care provider for additional questions.

All the best,

AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, Cody