What are the chances getting infected with HIV at the saloon?
Q: Three days back I went to a saloon and got my beard shaved. I didn't pay attention to whether he changed the blade. During the shave I asked him if he changed the blade or not. He said he changed the blade but still I had a doubt so yesterday I went to see if he changes the blade. I got hair on my armpit shaved. He does change the blade generally. I didn't see any visible cut during the shave of beard or armpit. With the same hand he removes the blade and puts the fresh blade. I don't know whether the previous person is infected. What are the chances of me getting infected? Should I go for HIV PCR test?
A:One should instruct the barbers not to use the same razor blade repeatedly. You should ensure that he changes the blade after every use. HIV infection is not spread through hands or fingers. In your case if the barber has used a new blade for you then the chances of acquiring HIV infection are almost negligible. If your barber had been using the same blade on many persons without cleaning the blade properly then the chances of transmission of HIV infection from one person to another will rise. PCR will be useful for detecting virus from 15th day onwards after acquiring infection.