« Go Back

HIV transmission through shaving blades


I went to the barber yesterday and had a beard shave. After the shave I did not feel any cuts or bleeding. But there was a sore feeling on my upper lip on the left side. I asked him to apply after shave. But then I got scared that what if the blade was used and the razor too. After I got home i took a few wet tissues and pressed them greatly against my skin wherever it was shaved to see if any blood was present. I couldnt see any traces of blood. My question is,
1) Can HIV be transmitted to me in the scenario that I have said
2) Could it be that blood was not visible on tissue because of using after shave so that HIV may be transmitted
3) Can the HIV be spread through the razor (not the blade).

Your prompt response is highly appreciated. Thank you.


Thank you for using AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your resource for your HIV related questions. It sounds like you are concerned and fearful about acquiring HIV from your beard shave. Hopefully the following information will help with your fears. 1)No, HIV cannot be transmitted in this scenario, because HIV can only be transmitted through human to human contact. When HIV is exposed to air, the virus cannot transmit.

2) Regarding this question, because we weren't present, we don't know. However, even if there was blood, as we mentioned, HIV does not transmit to air. We were confused about the after shave scenario. As far as we understand it, this would not impact HIV transmission.

3) Shaving with a razor is considered **Negligible Risk ** which means that while we can make a case for HIV transmission, there has never been a single reported case.

HIV could not have been spread through the razor or the blade because HIV is not transmitted by inanimate objects.

If you are interested in how HIV is transmitted, check out this link: http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart

We hope that we answered your questions and settled your fears.

Susan, Tony, Charlotte,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteers

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)
1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)
Private & Confidential