Anonymous
Hi,
I was in India for a pleasure trip. I was driving my vehicle and the cops stopped me for an Alchohol Test Breath Analyser. There was a machine to which a pipe was attached and i had to blow air in that pipe to check alchohol levels in my breath. When i blew into the pipe, it obviously touched my lips.
My concerns as follows.

1.) I saw that the cops were not changing the pipe testing different people one by one. So, is it possible that if the previous person was hiv+ and he blew air into the pipe, his saliva touched the pipe and if he had some blood in his saliva that touched the pipe and i put the same pipe in my mouth, Can i get hiv infected? It is to be noted that the time between testing 2 people is not so much ( maybe 15-20 seconds ). Also, i do not have such a good dental genetics (NO BLEEDING). I normally have some pimples on the edge of my mouth. They do not bleed. Pls advice if i am at risk?

2.) I also noticed that the cop testing me had either a broken nail which was regrowing ( no blood ) or a fungal infection on his finger. He touched the pipe on that part which was put in my mouth with that finger ( the time he touched the pipe and it went in my mouth was 2-3 seconds ). If the cop was hiv+ and he had fungal infection or some blood from his finger which got onto the pipe and the from the pipe into my mouth, CAN I GET HIV+. As told before i do have some pimples in my mouth. But there is no bleeding i notice in my mouth.

I consulted a doctor, he clearly adviced me that this is an indirect contact and hiv can not trasmit from indirect contact. NO WAY NO HOW. and there is no need for hiv testing. He told me even if i had bleeding in my mouth then also there is no risk of infection as hiv is not transmitted from indirect contact at all.

Can you please explain BOTH THE ABOVE situations in details why transmission is NOT POSSIBLE AT ALL explaining clearly so that i can put my mind to rest and continue with normal working.

Thanks for your help in advance.
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Anonymous
Hello, and thank you for using AIDS Vancouver as your source of information about HIV/AIDS issues.

To begin, I would like to reassure you that your doctor is totally correct, HIV cannot be transmitted in any of the ways you have described. I will answer your questions as you have posed them:

1) HIV is a weak virus outside the body. It dies immediately upon exposure to air, and the enzymes in human saliva kill HIV. So, even if the previous person was HIV positive, had blood in their saliva, and used the same pipe promptly before you did HIV would die long before you used the pipe. There is no risk of contracting HIV in this way.

2) You should know that for a risk of HIV infection to exist, specific bodily fluids (semen, vaginal/anal fluid, blood) must directly access the bloodstream of an HIV negative individual (e.g. unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding). Broken skin, such as that on the police officer's finger or on the surface of a pimple does not provide direct access to the bloodstream, and there is no risk of contracting HIV in this way.

I trust I have answered you questions sufficiently. Feel free to write back to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline, or refer to our website http://www.aidsvancouver.org for more information.

Sincerely,

Marta

AIDS Vancouver Volunteer
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