Patient: Hi there I recently found out my sister has been using my razor to shave her bikini area. I’m worried that if she is carrying an STI (I’m not saying she does!) that it has been passed on to me through me shaving my bikini area. Should I be going to a clinic to get tested? Or is this just an old wives tale? Please help!
Doctor: This is actually an excellent question. Technically, yes, it is possible to transmit infection through this method but they are mostly the blood-transmitted diseases (Hepatitis B, HIV). Razors may produce nicks and cuts during shaving and when the blood gets in contact with razors, diseases may find its way to the blood if the next user will also have nicks and cuts. Remember that some cuts are not visible and not painful. Most STDs can also be transmitted through the blood. However, there are STDs which needs viable tissue (skin to skin contact e.g. HPV, cause of genital warts) to transmit the infection. If you have been or currently sexually active, I honestly think you should have yourself tested. All STDs have asymptomatic states (one harbours the bacteria or virus but is not having any symptoms at all) so it is wise to have regular Pap tests and blood tests to know if you are infected. Sharing razors (and toothbrush) is never wise.