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Finger was cut while doing a haircut. Wiped and used the same scissors. Had a rash on chest and having sore throat. Any chances of HIV?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 2016 Questions
Recently had a haircut and the lady cut her finger with the scissors she was cutting my hair with. She cleaned her finger and then proceeded with cutting my hair using the same scissors. Her finger started bleeding again and she put a band aid on her finger. If she was infected with HIV is there any risk of transmission from this event. She didn't clean the scissors or use a different pair. The day after I noticed a rash or acne on my chest which took several weeks to clear up. I had other symptoms such as a sore throat for almost two weeks, fatigue, occasional dry cough, diarrhea for a day but not severe, possible fever. It has been 4 weeks since the event occurred and all symptoms are gone.
Posted Tue, 10 Sep 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 56 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No risk.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing to us.
From what you have described, there is no risk of transmission of HIV. In this scenario, HIV could have occurred hypothetically if her infected blood had mixed with yours ie if her blood had come in contact with any cut or abrasion over your skin. In this case also risk is almost negligible.
The symptoms that you developed after hair cut was probably due to some viral infection. HIV symptoms do not manifest so early and besides none of the symptoms was indicative of HIV.
Hope that helped.
Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Finger was cut while doing a haircut. Wiped and used the same scissors. Had a rash on chest and having sore throat. Any chances of HIV? 27 hours later
Thanks for the prompt response. Please don't take this the wrong way but I thought this question was being submitted to a General Physician. I am assuming you consulted with other doctors before replying to my question. You stated that the symptoms I described aren't indicative of HIV. The symptoms I described are flu like and I had some flu like symptoms. My understanding was you could develop symptoms within a few days in rare cases otherwise most people develop flu like symptoms within 2-4 weeks. This whole scenario is assuming the stylist was infected which isn't likely but I always assume the worst case scenario. Sounds like I am probably worried over nothing.
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 27 hours later
Brief Answer:
HIV infection in your case is unlikely.

Detailed Answer:
Dear Sir,
Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding back.
I can understand your concern regarding my expertise. But let me assure you that I have a good experience of working in HIV clinics as a dermatologist earns a degree not only for skin diseases but also for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV too is a sexually transmitted disease though it can spread through other modes also. Secondly the answers that a specialist submits are always supervised and moderated by a core team of specialists so be assured that the answers you receive are genuine and by qualified people only!

As I said earlier too that in your case risk is almost negligible as you never had an abrasion or cut injury so chances are that her blood never mixed with your body fluid.
HIV in its initial phases which is known as seroconversion illness can present with flu like symptoms but that phase occurs after one week to four weeks of getting an infection from someone which takes two to three weeks to resolve completely. So having symptoms of flu immediately or a day after acquiring infection from someone is not possible.

Still if in case you have doubts then the best thing would be to go for HIV testing.
Hope that helped. Should there be any other doubt please write back.
Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Finger was cut while doing a haircut. Wiped and used the same scissors. Had a rash on chest and having sore throat. Any chances of HIV? 2 days later
Thanks for the reply. The only symptom I noticed the day after was a rash on my chest if you could call it that. I have had acne problems for many years. The other symptoms I mentioned started about a week later but they weren't severe. I did have a minor sore throat for almost two weeks. I thought I may have had a fever on and off but never took my temperature so can't say for sure. I never broke out in sweats which would be expected with a fever. I know I was really fatigued for a couple of days. Some of the symptoms did occur in the time window you mentioned but like you said probably are related to something else. I have also heard that if you do experience flu like symptoms from HIV exposure they are usually severe. I have actually tested for HIV on several occasions and results were negative. If I understand you correctly it is highly unlikely that I was exposed to HIV. You must think I am crazy. I appreciate your input.
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 19 hours later
Brief Answer:
HIV infection in your case in highly unlikely

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing back.
My clinical acumen says it was just a normal flu as I see no reason how you would contract the disease from your hair dresser when there was no exchange/intermixing of blood or body fluids.

You have mentioned that you have tested for HIV on several occasions. To avoid such multiple testing, its better to indulge in safe practices. After this small episode also where a doubt has creeped in your mind, you may go for HIV testing to lay off the stress and panic but in all probability it should come out to be negative. But if you have doubts, there is no harm in getting the test done.

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