Anonymous
Hi! I'm a dental student. Last week I was buying burs (sharp, metal objects that we use to drill teeth) from a dental store. And they were not packaged (they were all lying in a box and you will choose which ones you need). I cut myself with one of them. And I was wondering what if the person before me also cut himself/herself? What is my risk?

Thank you!
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Anonymous
Hello,
Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for HIV/AIDS related information.

The simple answer to your question is No. You are not at risk of HIV infection from the activity you have described. Let me explain why. HIV is a weak virus and dies when it is exposed to the air. Therefore, direct contact between a fluid containing the virus (semen, blood, vaginal or anal fluid) with the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person is required to transmit the virus. This mainly occurs through unprotected vaginal and anal sexual intercourse or sharing needles. Since none of this happened in your case, there is no risk of exposure to HIV. Even if someone had cut themselves before you, the blood would have still been exposed to the air.

For more information on HIV/AIDS, we recommend you visit our website at http://www.aidsvancouver.org.

I trust I've addressed your concerns. Feel free to contact us again if you have further questions.

Thanks,

Sandra, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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