[Question #2617] Question regarding unsanitary waxing conditions and hiv concern?

42 months ago
Hello,

I went to a very reputable, pricey waxing salon today. I am usually very pleased with their services but the woman I have been going to for years was on a well deserved vacation and I was desperate to still get my waxing done so was serviced by another lady. I was shocked that when she waxed under my arms and breast area, she put the waxing stick inside of her mouth, her teeth were likely biting down on the stick, then put the wax on and then did the waxing. I am assuming it was in this order, although maybe she put the non waxed part of the stick in her mouth at points too before she put the stick then directly onto me. Now I bled during this and bleed often when I have my waxing and I have sensitive skin. I have just had a hiv test three months ago which was negative and now my fears have captured me once again after this incident. So basically parts of this stick that were on her mouth may have then touched my bleeding skin under my arms and around my nipples, possibly directly without first being dipped in wax at points too. I complained after this occurred and was refunded my money. Additionally since this woman did that I am sure other parts of the waxing were likely not sanitary either and she was touching bleeding areas quite roughly and by the end i insisted on cleaning my skin up. I also told her after a few swipes to please not put the stick in her mouth any longer, I think she was annoyed at this and did the waxing more roughly after this. I would like to know if I have any reason to worry about hiv or any other viruses such as hepatitis etc if she was infected with anything.  Thank you for your time.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
42 months ago
Welcome back to the forum, Lara. But sorry you found it necessary.

It sounds like the person doing the waxing, and maybe the salon in general, could use training in sanitary procedures. However, there is in fact no risk of HIV from these events, and low risk for any other infection. As discussed in one of your earlier threads, the mouth and saliva rarely if ever transmit HIV and are not a risk, even if there is blood involved. That's why oral sex and kissing are not risks for HIV, as noted in that previous thread. The busiest HIV/AIDS clinics simply never have patients who did not have unprotected sex, shared drug injection needles, and other known, obvious risks. If even rare cases could be transmitted by other means, there would be occasional patients without known risks. But every time a patient says they had no sexual, needle sharing, or other established and known risks, it always turns out they in fact had such events -- either because they were untruthful, or because of exposures they didn't recognize (like a partner who, unknown to them was at risk).

All this applies in general terms to other blood borne infections, like hepatitis B and C.

Bottom line:  for sure no cause for worry and no need for testing. To avoid all these infections, have only safe sex and don't share drug injection equipment with other people. Otherwise don't worry about any other sort of exposures.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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42 months ago
Ok. Thank you. Sorry for the delay in response. I assumed that was the case, I just wanted to make sure though because I read about a case in Brazil where apparently someone caught hiv through manicure equipment. I bleed when I get waxing, that was my concern. Also, one other question while I am here. Is a hiv antibody blood test result fully reliable 3 days short of 8 weeks, so around 7 weeks and 4 /5days? I just wanted to make sure about the accuracy of my last test a month or so ago. Thank you.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
42 months ago
I wouldn't believe the the story about someone acquiring HIV from a manicure. Almost all stories about getting HIV in such atypical ways are false -- either intetionally (not admiting to true high risk ectivity) or not knowing they were otherwise exposed (e.g. a partner who turns out to be bisexual). Despite claims about getting HIV from manicures, to my knowledge no such cases have ever been proved.

The antigen-antibody ("duo", "4th generation") HIV tests are concluisve any time 6 weeks or more after exposure. The antibody-only tests often require 8 weeks, but 3 days short of 8 weeks is probably just as good.
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42 months ago
Hi Doctor. It was a 4th generation test, the one you are referring to. I just looked. Also I had an incident happen today that I am now having bad anxiety about. I had a problem with my car today, and my insurance sent someone to fix it. He wanted to shake my hand but his hand had a huge wound on it, as in a huge amount of skin had come off. I didn't want to be rude so I shook his hand, even though I had seen this but he was trying to be friendly and I was just relieved he was there as it was boiling hot. I asked him about it and he said it happened a few days ago and I said he should see a doctor. It was literally like two layers of skin had come off, and red. I don't know if this would then still have blood that could seep through etc, the rest of his hand also looked fairly damaged so there could have been bleeding. I have mild ocd so I wash my hands quite a lot and sometimes use hydrogen peroxide on cuts on my hands etc, I am worried about any nicks I could have because of this, I think I have one on the hand I shook with at the moment but nothing on my hand was bleeding. I need some reassurance please. Should I test because of this??
42 months ago
My hands also are fairly dry at the moment.
42 months ago
And what was on his hand was a proper wound, not just a scrape or cut.
42 months ago
Sorry. One more thing, is this man was extremely thin and looked very unhealthy. Should I consider PEP in this situation? Thank you in advance.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
42 months ago
You obviously are compulsively fearful, irrationally so, of HIV from non-intimate contacts. The sorts of contact you describe never transmit HIV. Do not have unsafe sex and do not share drug injection equipment with other people, and you will never get HIV. If you find yourself continuing to worry about such obviously zero risk events, and if such worries are significantly interfering with daily life function and happiness, you should consider professional counseling about it. These are not normal feelings, and they sometimes are the start of serious mental health disability. (See "The Aviator", the film biography of Howard Hughes -- a great example of where fear of contamination can lead.)

Please note that the forum discourages repeated questions on the same or similar topics. This should be your last one about HIV or other infection risks other than from unprotected sex, needle sharing, etc. Thanks for your understanding.
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