Can I catch HIV infection by sharing a shaving blade?
Q: I have shared a shaving blade with someone whom I have now come to know has HIV. Our shaving routine was as follows: HIV partner shaves first then after about 1 to 15 minutes I shave last. I come from a family where asthma is nothing new and I've been experiencing coughing associated with infection of the lungs, it sounds more like tuberculosis which of course my HIV+ friend is getting treatment for. Could I have contracted HIV or did I have TB infection from being exposed to my HIV+ partner or is it asthma? How long the HIV virus can live on a shaving blade?
A:The only way to put your mind at rest as far as HIV is concerned is for you to get an appropriate test (depending on how long ago the supposed exposure was) As far as tuberculosis is concerned, and good specialist can examine you and get the proper tests done. Though it is theoretically possible, spread from shaving with the same razor is not a very high risk activity. For one thing, not every shave is accompanied by a cut and bleeding. For another, one normally washes the razor after shaving to get rid of the lather and also before shaving to wet the razor. The chance of any fresh blood remaining on the razor is very remote so I would be very surprised if you have been infected in this way. The chance of a tuberculosis infection is a very real danger but it can easily be diagnosed and managed (cured). What it really boils down to is that the chance of HIV infection is related to the degree and type of sexual unprotected exposure.