Good evening.

Last year I went to do a facial to remove black heads.

The tool used was a comedone extractor. One end is a loop and the other end is a lancet.
It looks something like in this link:

I had a lot of acne and blackheads at that time.
I don't remember if the lancet was used on me. If I remember, I only remember the loop being used on me.
However, I shouldn't make assumptions.
I asked the staff how they cleaned the equipment and they said that they only drenched it in rubbing alcohol.
They said that they boiled it, but another staff said that they only drenched the lancet and the loop with alcohol (asked a few weeks after).
After that they clean it with tissue.

I had a lot of acne at that time so there was bleeding. I remember them using their gloved fingers to pop the pimples. I don't know if a lancet was used to pierce
the pimples.

This happened in Hong Kong so US sterilization rules don't apply here. The people that did the procedure on me didn't speak English so I had trouble communicating with them. I think they didn't boil the comedone extractor tool as shown in the picture.

This post says that the risk is negligible:

Is it negligible in my case? Do I have to get tested? I've been really bothered by this event. Please do answer.
My parents told me that I'm going to be fine, but I keep worrying about the situation.
This link as well:

I've called the HIV helpline in Hong Kong:
and they said that it only involves very little blood and I don't need to get tested.
She said:
(1) Profuse bleeding needs to occur, like in a war when someone gets wounded. She said a facial wouldn't have profuse bleeding. I further searched and
i compared what happened to me with getting a tattoo. A facial would have significantly less blood exposure than a tattoo. Am I right?
(2) The needle was not hollow so the risk is lower. Lancet pricks are apparently negligible to no risk. I think there was no customer before me for at least 30 minutes
to an hour. Does this mean that the risk from a facial would be negligible to zero? There was a lancet and a loop on the other end. Pimples were popped by
The local free testing services won't let me get tested because they said that the scenario I explained was no in the list of risky activities.
But there was bleeding and a lancet. My mind keeps comparing it to the risk of tattoos because the skin is repeatedly stabbed. I understand modern tattoos have a
reservoir (hollow) so is high risk but other tattoos needles are not hollow if I'm not mistaken.

Do I have to get tested?
Should I worry about Hepatitis C too?

I need someone that has proper English to clarify my situation. Please it has been bothering me.

Thank you whoever you are for answering.

Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about your specific risk of HIV acquisition given a scenario in which an acne removal lancet and blackhead loop were used on you during a facial procedure.

In a situation such as this, we would responsibly agree that the scenario provided is considered a Negligible Risk (There is no evidence or documented cases of transmission). However, the assumptions that you have made based on research and information you have been given are accurate.

(1) In order for HIV transmission to occur, this scenario would require a large amount of blood, likely comparable to getting a tattoo.

(2) The blades are not hollow, and therefore do not house active HIV in a concealed environment.

Let us add an extra element that hasn't been considered in this encounter.

(3) HIV positive blood that has been exposed to the environment is extremely volatile, and becomes quickly rendered inactive. HIV does not survive long outside of the human host and undergoes a rapid reduction in concentration when exposed to environmental surfaces such as the tool you have described which was used on you.

For these reasons, we agree that this scenario does not provide a significant risk of HIV acquisition to you. We do agree with you in that it is important to know your HIV status, and believe you should not be denied HIV screening for any reason.

However, for the scenario provided there is no need for HIV testing, please refer to a physician for any other health related (ie: Hepatitis C and other) questions.

All the best,

AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, Cody



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