Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
124 Doctors are Online

Can HIV infection be transmitted through cut caused by re-used razor blades?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1550 Questions
Hi, I have a very small question, which i came across while speaking with some of my friends. Please suggest if an person can get HIV infection, while having a hair cut in a saloon, in case if the barber doesn't clean the instrument he uses to shave the hair or if he doesn't change the razor?
Posted Sun, 19 Jan 2014 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 4 hours later
Brief Answer: Hi Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX Regardig your question about barber reusing infected material, I would like to say that HIV gets transmitted when HIV contaminated instrument comes in contact with non-intact or broken skin. HIV infected persons despite being asymptomatic at initial stages are still infective. I went through the research and articles published in medical journals on this topic and found many researches that indicate the transmission of viruses through barbering procedures. Razor blades if re-used can transmit infection. Other instruments like scissors etc should also be disinfected before re-using though they have lesser chances of cutting the skin and transmitting the infection. Thus razor blades should not be reused under any circumstances. Other instruments should be disinfected atleast upto intermediate level disinfection before reusing. The agents that can be used are alcohol, sodium hypochlorite, dry heat etc. Hope it answers your query. Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can HIV infection be transmitted through cut caused by re-used razor blades? 15 hours later
Thanks Doctor for briefing me on the concern put forth by me. As follow up on the discussion, I had come across some articles wherein it was conveyed that HIV carrying agents(don't know exactly what term should i use, may be say bacteria) can survive out of the host body for very few seconds; the reason i am asking is its piratically not possible to disinfect the apparatus used by the barber though he may agree to change the razor blade. But in any case the apparatus in which the razor blade is put in may still have traces of infected blood.
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 54 minutes later
Brief Answer: Hi again Detailed Answer: Hi again, Yes, you are correct in most of your follow-up. This revolution to change the razor blades after every use was started for this same fear. The barbers usually ignore cleanliless, let alone disinfection. Thus a better alternative is to instruct the barber not to use razor at all for hair-cuts. For shaving you may carry your own instruments. Hope it helps. Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an HIV AIDS Specialist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor