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HIV infection due to cuts/use of blades
Jul 5, 2001

Dear Dr. Feinberg,

I bought a Victorinox utility knife on a cutlery. This was on display. The vendor told me she often cuts herself when displaying the knives. I am not sure if she cut herself with the one I bought, but it is likely (if she is positive and if I cut, even after cleaning the blade with alcohol) for me to get HIV in this "strange" way?. How much time will it take for the virus to be unactive or something like that, should I use my knife? should I disinfect it? Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If you wipe your new knife with a dilute solution of household bleach, 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, it will kill any HIV present. By the time the blood dries, the HIV would be dead anyway, but you can use the vleach for extra "insurance". I don't think you have anuthing to worry about.


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