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Author Topic: HIV transmission
srk20
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Hi there I need your help again. I just got home from a sephora makeup store. I never ever do this and I don't know why I did this time but I took one of those tester swabs and tested a few lip glosses on my lips. Now I'm extremely worried, what of someone else may not have used the extra swab applicators? Is there a way I could get HIV or herpes From this?
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Robin Lee
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HIV is transmitted through infected body fluids, specifically blood, breast milk, semen, or vaginal secretions--specifically through needle sharing, oral sex and vaginal and anal intercourse, breastfeeding, and blood transfusions. So no, HIV cannot be contracted through a lip gloss applicator.

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Robin

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srk20
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Thanks, Robin! Is that even the case if the person who used it before may have had chapped lips? Also, Are there any other types of infections that I could have contracted??
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Robin Lee
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Chapped lips won't make a difference with this.

As to what infections you could contract, let's start with the common cold. I think your best bet here is to just make sure you don't use testers again if it makes you worry.

You haven't contracted any STIs because you need sexual contact in order to do that. Make sense?

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Robin

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srk20
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I guess I'm just worried that what if someone had bleeding lips and used the actual applicator of the tester and then put that back in the tube. Am I at risk for hepatic c? I've heard that hep c has the ability to survive for long periods even in dried blood. Yes I'm never going to use the tester again
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Robin Lee
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That's a lot of what-ifs. We're exposed to airborne viruses every day and except for folks with already compromised immune systems we generally don't give it another thought.

It's impossible to say whether you had a risk of anything specific so I really do think your best bet is to just move on from here.

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Robin

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srk20
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Okay sounds good. Just lastly, what arethe types of ways that hep c can be transferred? And is it a possibility in a case like this?
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Heather
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Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood -- primarily through things like needle sharing, blood transfusions or, much more rarely, sexual contact where blood is shared -- not things like a lip gloss tube.

For more, see: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hepatitis-c/DS00097/DSECTION=causes

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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srk20
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So it's not possible for some blood to be smeared onto the applicator if the user had hep c and a bleeding lip? And for me to get the infection by smearing the same gloss on my lip? Just wondering if te infection would survive in the gloss liquid and be transferable.

[ 02-18-2012, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: srk20 ]

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Robin Lee
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There are any number of infections or viruses that you *could* get from using the same applicator someone else used. So focussing on one isn't particularly useful. It's just as likely that all the people used the test glosses correctly (no cross-contamination) as it is that someone didn't. Worrying about something when you don't know all the information is also not particularly helpful to you. [Smile]

I'm not a cellular biologist (nor is anyone else here, to my knowledge) so it's a little out of our scope to figure out whether an infection could survive that long. Even a biologist couldn't really tell you that because they wouldn't have all the facts.

Are you able to just chalk this up to you doing something that you aren't comfortable doing and resolving not to do it again since it made you anxious.

As I mentioned above, we're potentially exposed to all sorts of airborne viruses every day and would go crazy worrying about every single contact. [Smile]

I know it probably feels like this isn't helpful at all, but there really are no answers here.

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Robin

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Heather
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If Hep C were spread that easily, though, we'd all have it, seriously. We'd all be getting it the way that so many of us pick up colds.

As that article I linked you to and others explained, Hep C is understood to be about very direct blood exposure, not something like a lipgloss applicator.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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