Can HIV positive virus survive on lipstick brushes?

My makeup artist was a HIV positive person- not sure if he is on medication or not. He told me he was HIV positive and unable to donate blood.
What worries me is that he used the same brush that he use for his own lipstick (yes he use lipstick) and then used that same brush on me. I didn't check if his lips were bleeding- so if his lips were bleeding, and he used that brush on himself and then on me, will the HIV blood be able to survive on the brush, get onto my lips and body and be transmitted to me? He applied the lipstick on my lips after using the brush himself, and I have a habit to lick my lips, so when I lick my lips, does it mean I take the HIV positive virus into my body since I swallowed it?

I read that there needs to be a deep cut in that mouth for HIV virus to be taken into the body. Since I swallowed after I lick my lips, will I become infected?
Please help me. Very worried
Hi there and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

I would like to start by clarifying that HIV cannot be transmitted casually. For there to be any risk of transmission, several conditions would need to be met. These conditions include the exchange of body fluids (such as blood, semen) + engaging in high risk activity (such as unprotected anal/vaginal sex, needle sharing) + direct access to the blood stream.

The information you mentioned regarding the nature of wounds that warrants access to the blood stream is correct. Cuts that may pose a risk of HIV transmission need to be fresh, deep and heavily bleeding. Chapped lips do not pose any risk of HIV transmission.

It is also important to understand the nature of the virus to have a better conceptualization of risk. HIV is a weak virus that cannot survive outside of the human body for longer than a few minutes. Even if we assumed that your make up artist has used the same brushes for himself and his clients, it is very unlikely for the virus to have survived between the time of the two uses (on himself and then on you). Additionally, it is common practice and a requirement for makeup artists to sanitize and clean the brushes the use on their clients in between applications, so it is more than likely that brushes used on you have previously been cleaned and sanitized.

Finally, the saliva in the mouth and digestive system contain enzymes that breaks down the virus. That is why HIV cannot be transmitted through food or swallowing of contaminated foods/fluids.

The situation as you described it puts you at no risk of HIV infection and you do not require testing.

I trust that I have answered your questions. Feel free to contact us again shall further inquiries arise. For additional information on HIV risk and testing, you can visit our website at

In health,


AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday - Friday 10 AM-4PM (PST)

604 253 0566 Ext. 299

Private and confidential


Charitable Registration #
10668 9896 RR0001

© 2019
Privacy Policy


1101 Seymour Street
Suite 235, 2nd Floor
Vancouver, BC V6B 0R1


Main Phone: 604-893-2201
Fax: 604-893-2205