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Can I acquire HIV from a dentist visit?


How do some people get HIV infected from the dentist? I have read on this site that HIV is unable to infect once outside the body?



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of acquiring HIV from your dentist.

Dentists operating or practicing invasive procedures are required to follow appropriate infection-control protocol. Standard dental procedure methods performed diligently can assuredly mean there is no possible risk of HIV transmission between patient-doctor or doctor-patient. However, if in fact your dentist is not abiding by their obligatory standard of health and infection safety (or there is lack of these such requirements in your country/region), you may be at a low risk (Evidence of transmission occurs through these activities when certain conditions are met).

Following our transmission equation, there is a possibility of low risk only due to the possibility that your dentist may be using shared needles between patients. This is largely frowned upon in medical practice and would most likely result in a loss of license and strict punishment for your dentist. However, all other avenues involved in dental practice including invasive surgery do not meet the components of our transmission equation. While there is a possibility of open sores/access to the blood stream involved in patient/doctor interaction, exposure of oxygen to the blood during invasive dental procedures eliminates the possibility of transmission between patient/dentist. In other words, it is extremely unlikely that HIV can be passed during a visit to your dentist and there is little evidence to suggest that a case of transmission has ever existed between patient and dentist, at least through dental procedures.

No need to fear the dentist any longer!

Best, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Cody