« Go Back

HIV transmission through drinking water and tea


Few months back I went to one known person home for some maintenance work.I had there one glass water and cup tea.After some days I knew there was a HIV patient in their home.I am scared and worried.Please calrify any risk for HIV.



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of acquiring HIV through sharing a cup of water and tea with a person who you believe is living with HIV. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (Transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

On this forum we focus on the activity in which the individual(s) were involved, and not their HIV status. This is because, focusing on the activity allows us to apply the 3 components of the HIV transmission Equation to said activity and thereby provide you with a reliable risk assessment. The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the transmission equation (1). It does not satisfy the equation because:

For transmission to occur, the three components of the HIV Transmission Equation(1) must be met: there must be HIV present in a bodily fluid (ie: in blood, semen or rectal secretions), direct access to the bloodstream (ie: inside of the vagina, anus and other mucous membranes) paired with a High Risk activity (ie: unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, sharing needles, mother to child) (1).

HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside a human host (2). Any bodily fluids containing HIV that may have been on the cup were already outside of the human body, exposed to environmental conditions(air) and thus, unable to transmit HIV to you.

HIV requires that all 3 conditions of the HIV transmission equation(1), as listed above, be met in order for transmission to occur. Your scenario does not satisfy these 3 conditions. HIV is transmitted from human-to-human, and not human-to-object-to-human. HIV needs direct access to the bloodstream to transmit to you.

A list of other No Risk Activities is as follows: 1. Kissing (with no blood present) 2. Using sex toys that are not shared 3. Non-insertive masturbation 4. Contact with urine or feces 5. Injection using new and/or unshared needles, syringes and drug equipment 6. Snorting or smoking drugs using new and/or unshared straws or pipes 7. Hugging, touching, shaking hands 8. Sharing food, drinks, utensils or dishes 9. Sharing linens, towels or clothing 10. Coughing or sneezing 11. Swimming pools or bath water 12. Insects or animals

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

Thanks again for you question. We would encourage you to check out the resources listed below to learn more about HIV and HIV transmission. Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Heidi and Samantha

Additional Resources: