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Blood on Cup



I had went to restaurant and ordered a drink to go, the drink was in a styrofoam cup. I started drinking about half of the drink, which is 44 ounces. I was looking at the cup and saw a dried red line on it. I had a cut in my mouth from where I had bitten my gum while eating a few days ago. If this red stuff had got in the cup or I had touched it with my straw, could I contract HIV if it was blood?


Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for you HIV/AIDS related health information.

It sounds like you are concerned about your risk of HIV transmission from a beverage.

The situation that you have described is a No Risk situation. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • HIV is a Human-to-Human virus. It cannot be transmitted to you by an object (a straw/cup) or food.

  • HIV needs a human host to survive. Once HIV is outside of the body and exposed to oxygen it can no longer transmit. Any blood on the cup was outside of the body, exposed to oxygen and thus could not transit HIV to you.

  • Saliva has an enzyme that inhibits the transmission of HIV.

  • HIV needs direct access to your bloodstream in order to transmit. There was no direct access to your bloodstream. Superficial cuts, such as the cut on your gums, simply do not provide the conditions necessary for transmission to occur. For superficial cuts to potential provide direct access to the bloodstream, they would have to be actively bleeding and in need of stitches or surgery to repair. From what I understand, this was not the case in your situation.

I would encourage you to check out the following resources about HIV:

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online