Anonymous
Stupid question: was at a bar with a friend last night when I saw a sizable drop of liquid on the table which I hadn't noticed before, dipped my finger into it and - here is where my tipsy memory is a bit hazy - possibly tasted it to see what it was. Cannot recall any particular taste, however am panicking now: if it was (fresh) blood from somebody who had maybe just brushed past our table a second ago, would I have been at risk for transmission by tasting it? Any difference here for how much time has passed or the amount of liquid?! Thanks for answering...
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Anonymous
Hi there, thanks for contacting our HIV helpline with your questions and concerns. We're happy to help!

I understand this may have been a worrisome situation for you, but hopefully my answer helps to alleviate those worries!

This situation is a No Risk situation! There are two particular reasons for this:

1) HIV is a delicate virus. This means that it cannot survive outside of the human body. Essentially, when it is outside of the body (such as on that table) and exposed to the general environment, it becomes damaged and inactivated, and can no longer be passed on. This is a process that occurs as soon as it leaves the body, which is why you cannot acquire HIV through the surfaces of inanimate objects. Any bodily fluids outside of the body, have any risk eliminated from them.

2) The mouth wouldn't provide direct access to the bloodstream, normally, unless you had large wounds in your mouth such as one's resulting from a major dental surgery. Additionally, saliva contains enzymes that help to break down viruses, furthering your protection.

Overall, absolutely no risk in this situation!

I Hope this helped! feel free to check out our website and avert.org for more reliable HIV information.

Sincerely,

Christina

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)

helpline@aidsvancouver.org

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