hello. I was eating restaurant food, and in the middle of my food I saw something blood-like on the chopped cheese on my plate. I could whip it with napkin from the cheese and it was all red. I am quite afraid the guy who chopped it could cut himself while chopping and it just fell in my food. I have herpes on my lips at the moment and it is not healed and it is on the part which just comes to contact with food all the time and I cant avoid it. the cheese was on the top and so the blood was not cooked / heated, I ate the food five minutes from the time when I picked it up from the waitress. I dont know if it is considered on air, if is was also mixed inside the sauce, and I ate some pieces before I realized it might be blood on it. Am I at risk? Would hiv die in this situation prior to the time I ate it? Thanks a lot for your help!!
Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission through the possibility of blood coming into contact with your open lip sore.
Please consider the following:
Depending on the dish that you ordered, it may have been possible that the "blood" could have been a different substance, related to the dish you had ordered.
Serving a dish in a restaurant after a chef/cook has cut or injured themselves near the food is frowned upon practice in most places, and is considered to be extremely unhygienic.
If this substance was in fact blood, and this blood had direct contact with your lip, you may consider this a No Risk scenario: (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario). Food consumption is not considered a method for HIV transmission, and, even if the food had contained any small amount of HIV positive blood, the exposure to air would have quickly rendered the virus inactive. HIV does not survive long outside of the body and cannot reproduce outside of a human host (1).
Though it is very rare, HIV can be spread by eating food that has been pre-chewed by someone with HIV. The contamination occurs when infected blood from a caregiver’s mouth mixes with food while chewing. The only known cases are among infants (2).
Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions.
All the best,
AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, Cody