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HBV/HCV from hairdresser's
Dec 21, 2011

Hello.

I am an HIV+ woman (26 years old, 3 years since diagnosis). I got my hair braided (in the African-American style) by a woman from a country where HBV is endemic. At the end of the 5-hour braiding marathon, I noticed that she had a cut on her finger. I did not see any blood. I freaked out because of the amount of contact between the fingers of the hairdresser and my scalp. The haqirdressers basically touch every single part of the scalp over 5-6 hours. She said the cut was "old", but it looked fresh to me, in spite of the absence of blood. To make matters worse, 3 days after I left the hairdressers, I itched my hair in my sleep and woke up with 2 blood stains on my white hairnet. I am afraid she may have left Hepatitis B on my scalp and my itching my scalp so vigorously may have caused me to infect myself with HBV (I know HIV is unlikely to survive for so long - it's HBV I'm worried about).

Is this a cause for legitimate concern? Please help.

Worried, Ohio

Response from Dr. McGovern

I dont' think this event sounds like a true "exposure" to me.

I would also discuss with your HIV provider, since you probably have been tested for hepatitis B long ago and either are already immune or you were vaccinated...



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