Anonymous
Recently I was needing to shave my beard and I pulled a razor out from my drawer in my bathroom. During shaving, I accidentally nicked myself a few times, and I didn't think about it much at first. However, I had my brother over a few days ago and I found out he may have used one of the razors from the same drawer to shave. I don't personally know his HIV status, but say if he were to have HIV, used this blade, accidentally cut himself, stupidly put the blade back, and I had used it and nicked myself, what would be the chance of me contracting HIV (or any STDs in general, for that matter)? I know I sound paranoid, but I'm losing sleep over it and would like to know what my risk is. If I'm not at risk, then what makes this a different and lower risk than "sharing needles"? Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline.

The risk of HIV from sharing razors and similar spa tools is considered to be negligible. This means that there have been no reported cases of someone acquiring HIV in this manner.

When HIV in bodily fluids (such as blood) is exposed to the air it becomes non-transmissible. Any blood that may have been on the razor is very likely to have been exposed to the air first, but it is considered a negligible risk instead of no risk because there is a remote possibility that blood could get trapped in some part of the razor without being exposed to air. However, it is important to remember that there has never been a reported case of someone acquiring HIV in this way.

Sharing needles is a high risk exposure because small amounts of blood can be trapped in the barrel of the needle without being exposed to air and is then injected into the next user of the needle. HIV needs access to the body to get inside, either through direct access to the bloodstream (such as injecting with a shared needle) or through sexual contact. When sharing a razor it is very unlikely that direct access to the bloodstream would occur. Small cuts and scrapes do not provide enough access. It would only be very large, deep cuts that need immediate medical attention or stitches that may be cause for concern.


I hope this information helps to answer your questions.

For more information you can always visit the AIDS Vancouver website or check out CATIE.org.

Isla (Volunteer)

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Online

Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm (PST)

http://www.helpline.aidvancouver.org

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