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Risk from finger cut


Thank you for answering my last question. I do have one follow-up question though.

Unsterilized manicure tools touched my cuticle wound (not bleeding but very raw and tender). This happened minutes after the tech used them on someone else. There wasn't any visible blood on the tools. However, the tools were stored in a small, hard plastic case that looked like a child's pencil case. I therefore assume that limited air got to the tools. Does this affect the risk of HIV transmission from blood that could have been on the tools, which then touched my finger cut?


Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

We are happy to help answer your questions. In short, there is No Risk in this exposure, in spite of manicure tools being stored in a hard plastic case. When body fluids (which may carry HIV) leave the human body, the virus becomes damaged and cannot enter any human body from the outside. Additionally, small cuts are not known to transmit HIV, although it may be possible in theory (negligible-risk). This is because body fluids are exposed to the air before coming into contact with small cuts, and therefore cannot pass on HIV.

Here is a resource we use to support our answers. Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.



AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)


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