« Go Back

Sharing a drink

Question: 

I have recently shared a drink with an HIV positive person.
It was very quick and I used a separate straw but it was from her cup.
She is my colleague at work and I always see her use the same cup and she never really washes it.
Would there be more HIV virus in the cup since she never washes it??
Could you please evaluate my risk? Do I need to go for a test?

Thank you very much

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline

We gather that you are asking about the risk of acquiring HIV through sharing a beverage/container with someone who is infected with HIV. This situation carries no risk for transmission of HIV.

Consider the following:

In order to contract HIV the following conditions must be met:

  • There must be HIV present in a bodily fluid. The five bodily fluids that carry the HIV virus include: blood, semen (including pre-ejaculate), vaginal fluids, breast milk, and rectal secretions.
  • The bodily fluid containing HIV must have direct access to the bloodstream. This can be through cuts, tears, rips, mucous membranes, open sores, or needles.
  • Transmission occurs through a risky activity in which the first two conditions are met. For example: condom less sex, sharing needles, unsafe tattoos or piercings, vertical transmission–from mother to child (in utero, during delivery, breastfeeding)

HIV is not transmitted through saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of an HIV-positive person. HIV is rendered inactive when exposed to air (in her cup) and was likely never present in the cup to begin with, assuming the absence of the aforementioned 5 bodily fluids that carry HIV. This scenario also doesn't include direct access to your bloodstream, nor is sharing a cup considered to be an activity with any measurable risk, like unprotected sex or sharing a needle.

In this situation there is no need to be tested for HIV.

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Dyson