« Go Back

Hiv in Food !??

Question: 

Dear Adisvancover team

Many thanks for your support and to be here

I have a question and I hope you will help me with that .

What is the risk of eating food that contain fresh blood (HIV + ) !?

I know that the hiv very weak virus and die immediately when exposure to the air but it take time like a couple of minutes .right !?

But what about if the food contain fresh blood ( the time the blood put in the food and who eaten the food ) was just 1 minutes . The virus will still active right !?

So what is the risk !?

Thank you

Answer: 

Hi there,

Thanks for contacting us for your HIV-related questions.

You cannot transmit HIV through food. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency virus . It needs human-to-human contact to be transmitted. You were correct in saying that HIV is a weak virus. It dies immediately when it is exposed to air. It needs a closed system to survive (ie- the human body).

It is also worth noting, that even if the food contained blood and even if that blood contained the HIV virus, it still would not have direct access to your blood stream. When you eat food, it is mixed with saliva. Saliva has an enzyme in it that inhibits HIV, actually breaking it down, not allowing it to survive or live within saliva. The virus cannot go through skin, so your mouth does not provide direct access to your blood stream. Furthermore, not much of anything can survive within the human stomach. It's purpose is to break down everything that enters it-HIV is no exception to this.

Direct access means either unprotected vaginal or anal sex, the sharing of needles, or deep, fresh and profusely bleeding wounds. This would not apply to a cut in the mouth or on the lips. Without direct access to your blood stream, the HIV virus has no way of being transmitted to you.

I hope this adequately answers your questions. You can call us at the helpline at 604-696-4666 or email us at helpline@aidsvancouver.org if you have any further questions.

In Health, Chantelle and Katie AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer