The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary


Jul 26, 2008

You had responded to a nose piercing scare I had about 3 weeks ago. I didn't see the guy sterilize the needle but "if" it was re-used and the was a small amount of blood, it was 10 minutes or so after the last person. 2 weeks after that, I got a tickle in my throat for more than a week. Is that an ARS symptom? I have no fever, no sore throat.. nothing. Just that tickle in my throat that makes me cough a bit (not a constant cough). It's pretty dry, an occasional congestion too. Do I have anything to worry about? The needle was hallow, but very thin (safety pin size) It was not used for several minutes. I can't sleep, eat, work.. I'm a mess. I don't know if I'm focusing on the tickle so much and it's my anxiety causing this. Please help. I will donate again, not for an answer, but because you help so many of us. Giving back is the best gift. Thank you so much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Pierced-Nose Gal (or Guy),

A throat tickle is not an ARS symptom. I absolutely agree your anxiety is the most likely cause. My assessment and advice remain unchanged form my initial response. (See below.) Thanks again for your tax-deductible donations to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. They are warmly appreciated. And by the way, the new nose jewelry looks quite fetching and fashionable.

Stay well. Stop worrying!

Dr. Bob

Piercing risk? Jul 15, 2008

I just recently got my nose pierced. The place is really clean and reputable, but when the guy pierced me I didn't see him take the needle out of packaging or anything. If he re-used the piercing needle...which is a slanted, pointed tip and hallow inside yet very small in width ( size of a safety pin) and NOT a syringe. So if the needle was re-used and had blood on it, but used on me about 10 minutes after the last person, was there a risk. I know hiv dies rapidly outside body. So since it was used about 10 minutes after the lst person, would the virus have been killed by then? I don't know if I'm being paranoid or what, but I wasn't sure since the needle was so thin, if that was a great risk. As well as it being through my nose, not into a vein. Pleas help me! Thank you for all your help. I would like to leave a donation, where should I send?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Piercing has a theoretical risk for HIV transmission. However, considering your piercing palace was "really clean and reputable" and the nose piercing needle (OUCHAMAGOUCHA!!!) hadn't been used for at least "10 minutes" (wow, do people really come into that shop every 10 minutes to have metal transfixed through their noses?), I would say your HIV risk is extremely remote at best. Yes, I do think you are being paranoid. However, if you remain concerned, a single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark will give you a definitive result and put all your residual (unwarranted) worries permanently to rest, OK?

Donation information for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at The foundation's address is:

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 145 Los Altos, CA 94024

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

What are the ethics of disclosing a partner's status when in an open relationship?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint