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HIV through spit


Dear Experts

I went to a shop today. A man at the counter started talking to me, quite loudly for some reason, and his spit landed in my eye. It was not much, of course, because he did not spit on purpose, but I could feel it getting into my right eye. Am I at risk for HIV? Do I need to test for it at 3 months? What he has bleeding gums? I am so worried. Thank you



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about acquiring HIV by spit coming in contact with your eye. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the transmission equation. The equation requires a HIV negative individual to come into contact with HIV positive bodily fluids through a high risk activity that has direct access to the bloodstream (1). The equation is not satisfied as there is no direction access to the bloodstream, a high risk activity, or bodily fluid. It is noted that HIV is not transmitted through saliva (2). Saliva in fact contains an enzyme that inhibits HIV and does not contain enough of the virus to transmit to others (2).

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


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle