Anonymous
guys i had a qtip in my bag im not sure if someone else used it. but i used it after i found it to clean the sides of my nails and i had raw cuticles there. any hiv risk?
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for using AIDS Vancouver as a source for HIV/AIDS related information.

In order for HIV transmission to occur, body fluids with high levels of HIV such as blood, semen/pre-cum, anal/vaginal fluids, and breast milk must have direct access into the blood stream of someone who is HIV negative. Examples of areas that have direct access to the blood stream are the vagina/penis urethra, anus, other mucosal membranes, points of needle injection, and open cuts and sores. Two activities with high risk exposure are unprotected vaginal/anal sex and the sharing of needles. High risk activities are activities that involve the exchange of body fluids and have been demonstrated through research and reporting that have been strongly associated with HIV transmission; there are many confirmed reports of HIV transmission through these activities. It is also important to note that HIV is a very fragile virus meaning that in a very short time of exposure to air the virus is destroyed and therefore unable to transmit to another person.

Q- tips are unlikely to contain any of the fluids that are carriers of HIV. Furthermore, in terms of the reusal of a Q-tip, as the Q-tip has been exposed to the air for a long period of time, if there was one of the aforementioned body fluids present, in an open air environment HIV would be destroyed. Concerning your raw cuticles, open and deep cuts can be considered direct access points to the blood stream but not raw cuticles. Overall this activity has no risk of transmission meaning to our knowledge, no one has ever reported this activity leading to an infection of HIV.

If you have any more questions you can take a look at our forum on [AIDS Vancouver](http://www.aidsvancouver.org/)

In health, Johannah AIDS Vancouver Volunteer
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