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auto motive tech
May 24, 2003

I am a automotive student. While working in class on a transmission we needed to cut a gasket with a razor blade. While cutting the gasket I cut myself with the razor. Other people in the class used the same razor. I do not know how many classes used the razor or by how many students. The razor was covered in transmission fluid. I don't know if anyone else cut themselves. Should I be worried about an HIV infection. Should I get tested.

Response from Ms. Breuer

I'm not crazy about the shared razor blade because of hepatitis B or C, not to mention that you don't need transmission fluid in your bloodstream. Your risk of exposure to HIV in that scenario is very small, but your risk of exposure to hepatitis with a shared razor blade is higher. I would alert the instructor to the risks of bloodborne diseases through that razor blade and request that individuals in class be able to use a fresh one. If you get any pushback, go to the medical director for the school and voice your concerns. In the meantime, I recommend that you go to your local public health department, explain what happened, and request tests for HIV and hepatitis. They should be free or extremely low-cost. If your instructor thinks razor blades are expensive, have him think about the cost of liability.

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