HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Environment contamination - transmission risk from object on skin

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Hi, I have been searching the forum and was not able to find any topic that would address my concern besides the one where the guy had a razor shaving his hair in the barber shop. I think the guy didn't bleed. Anyway, I think my transmission risk is low, but here's my story anyway. About a week ago I went to an upscale spa in Las Vegas to get a legit massage. Prior to any massaging occur,I was rubbed with a brush that had somehow scratched me enough to make me bleed under the surface of the skin. I did not notice this until my wife pointed out. The spots had since scalped over and dried into tiny dots. My obvious concern is that the brush had been used on other patrons and they may have been infected with blood borne virus such as HIV or Hep C. I have pretty dry skin and that may explain why the bristle had casued the skin to break.

1) Do I have something to worry about?
2) Could the virus(es) live in dry environment? My guess is that the brush had to be sitting around at least 30 mins prior to touching my skin.

My logical side said that this is low to no risk, but my irrational side said that I should post the question. Any feedback or comment is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.

Matty the Damned:

There is absolutely no risk of HIV infection from what you describe. You don't need to worry or test. You do need to read the Welcome Thread and familiarise yourself with the modes of HIV transmission.



Thanks for your feedback, Matty. I did visit the Welcome Thread before I posted. Most of the transmission lessons had to do with the sexual contact, and only briefly mention none-sexual transmission route. It wasn't clear in my mind, from reading the lessons, whether I should be worry about it or not, that's why I posted the question. Just out of curiosity, is it because the bristle would have been dry or it's just not a likely way for the virus to transmit that's why you think there would be no risk.

By the way, I really do appreciate the feedback.


The reason the Lesson focuses on sexual transmission is because hiv is sucessfully transmitted INSIDE the body via unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. When the virus finds itself outside the body, it quickly becomes too damaged to be transmitted sucessfully.

This is why environmental transmission does not happen.

You did not have a risk for hiv infection.


Thank you, Ann. Your response is highly reassuring. One last question, it is said here before, maybe by you or others, that the Hep C virus is much more robust than HIV. If HiV is no cause for concrerns in this senario, would I have to be worried about Hep C? Could viruses, particular Hep viruses, not survive outside the body similarly to HIV?

Again, thanks for all the feedbacks. A visit to this forum has been highly educational.


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