Anonymous
Dear Sir/Madam,  

I will start by admitting that I have a phobia of HIV. It really  makes me worry quite a bit. I would like to please ask if you can get HIV from this scenario : A barber cut the back of my neck with a straight razor (several razor nicks on the back of my neck, there was a little bit of blood,  not much). The barber then washed my hair using a basin and my neck, that was bleeding slightly,   came into contact with the basin.  Hypothetically speaking,  had someone's blood been on that basin,  could someone get hiv in this fashion? Could you please help me with my concern? 
 
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helpline-volunteer

Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of HIV transmission through coming into contact with a basin while bleeding from your neck. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the HIV Transmission Equation (see down below).

Even if blood had been on the basin, the basin would not contain any active HIV particles because exposure of the virus to oxygen quickly deactivates it. The CDC has shown that "HIV does not survive long outside the body (such on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside of the human host" (1). When HIV is exposed to oxygen, it undergoes a rapid decrease in concentration (90-99% within a couple of hours), so the risk of environmental transmission of HIV is essentially zero (1). Therefore, in the event that the basin did come in contact with bodily fluid from an HIV positive individual, the exposure to oxygen, coupled with the fact that there was no direct access to your bloodstream, means there is No Risk of transmission from this activity.

Recommendation: No need for an HIV test with the scenario provided, please refer to a healthcare professional for other health related questions.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Sonali 

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1. HIV in the environment  

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