« Go Back

Straight Razor (Barber Shop)

Question: 

Hello,

I went to get a haircut and the barber used an "old school" like straight razor for the back of my neck and I did not see him change the blade (because I don't think you can on these types of razors) and there was a container with blue disinfectant which he did NOT use. He put water on the back of my neck and used the razor as it is. I saw him use it on the guy before me. I am concerned now because as usual with razor blades the skin is irritated afterwards and I put some sanitiser on the affected area a few hours later and it stung. I am scarred of contracting hepatitis or worse HIV from this. I know that the virus dies exposed to air but it takes some time as far as I can tell. I am afraid now...

Answer: 

Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions. We're happy to help!

To answer your question, no, this is not a method of transmission for HIV, and is considered a no risk situation. HIV is a very delicate virus, and cannot survive for long outside of the human body. Once is it exposed to the air, the virus becomes damaged and is no longer able to transmit. This process starts immediately upon exposure and is very rapid. Any fluid sitting on the razor would not be able to transmit the virus, as it would have already been exposed to the air.

Furthermore, in order for a cut or wound to pose as a risk for HIV, the cut needs to be gushing blood and require immediate and professional medical attention. A small cut that does not match this description would not provide direct access for the virus to enter the bloodstream, and thus would not be a risk for HIV transmission.

Here at AIDS Vancouver, we are volunteers trained in HIV related information, including transmission and testing, but we are not trained in any other Sexually Transmitted Infections (including hepatitis). If you are looking for information regarding hepatitis, I would recommend consulting smartsexresource.com, a trustworthy and reliable website for STI information: Smart Sex Resource.

I hope I was able to answer your question, and feel free to contact us with any further concerns.

Regards,

Sierra, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline
helpline.aidsvancouver.org
Private & Confidential