« Go Back

HIV on food


Hello. Sorry if this is a silly question. I went with my little brother to a shop, where we bought sliced bread. He opened the bag with the bread in our car, took a piece, eat it and then as he was giving back to me the bag I saw something red under his nail. It wiped off and I am afraid it was something transferred from the bread/bag (maybe someone during the process of making/slicing the bread and putting it into the bag cut himself or in the shop someone touched it whilst bleeding?) Anyhow, it could had transferred to the piece of bread he was eating. It was about 15 minutes between us buying the bread and him eating it. Is he at risk of HIV? I am very worried and not sure if I should tell my parents and tell them to take him to a doctor. Thank you



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of acquiring HIV from handling food possibly contaminated by HIV. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk. Transmission of HIV is not possible with the given scenario. (No exchange of bodily fluids)

HIV outside of the body or HIV drying out on a surface causes a rapid 90%-99% concentration depletion (within several hours) Quote from the CDC states: "HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it can not reproduce outside a human host. At the concentrations found after drying out ,there is a negligible chance of there being enough reactive virus to transmit HIV. HIV is not transmitted by food handling; if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus.

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions.

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, (Vardah)