Anonymous
Hi,

My boyfriend recently picked up and touched (quite possibly the actual metal razor part) of my roommate's razor thinking it was mine. Once he realized it wasn't mine, he didn't not use it. However, he has a fairly deep cut on one of his fingers. What are the chances there was remaining blood from a cut or other means of infection left on the razor and that it made the way into his cut? I do not know if the razor had been there not in use for 3 minutes or 3 hours. I don't think he washed his hands after this situation either, so does that pose a threat for more contamination? Thank you in advance for your help, and sorry if this question comes off ignorant or annoying, but I am very concerned and would love your expert advice.
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Anonymous
Hi there! Thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your HIV related questions and concerns. We are happy to help!!

This situation that you described poses No Risk for a couple of different reasons. First of all, when HIV is exposed to air, such as it would have been on this razor, then the virus is damaged and can no longer be passed on. Additionally, the cut on your boyfriends hand, although you say quite deep, was probably not deep enough to access the blood stream. In order to have direct access to the blood stream, a wound has to be large enough to require medical attention such as stitches, or be gushing blood or something along those lines. Regardless, due to both factors, this is no risk.

I am attaching the transmission equation for HIV here, which may help you in visualizing exactly what components are necessary for there to be a risk of transmission:

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION


BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection

Hopefully this helped!
Sincerely,

Christina

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION