Piercing risk?

Question

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?

Answer

Hello,

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 www.concertedeffort.org. 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