Anonymous

I was picking up someone from the dentist office after the had just received dental surgery (teeth removal). They were facing forward in the chair and I was standing to the side. The coughed and blood splattered onto their clothing and onto the machine equipment infront of them. I am unsure if any of the blood got onto me or into my mouth or eyes. They were not big splatter amounts but still wet blood. 


Also the nurse then took the bloody dentures out of the persons mouth rinsed it off with water and put it into the container. I later had to open the container With my hands. I didn’t see any blood on the container but I still touched it. 


I was able to go home about an hour later and showered for a very long time and later sanitized my car with soap, hot water and vinegar. 

this person is a recovering addict and was last tested last March for HIV and hep C, they stated that this test for them was negative. However since then the person has had a relapsed and slept with other people. So I am unaware if their status has changed. 

please help. 

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helpline-volunteer
Hi there!

Thank you so much for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of acquiring HIV from potentially coming into contact with blood after picking someone  up from the dentist office, who coughed blood up. The scenario above is considered to be No Risk


The scenario above also does not meet the three components of the transmission equation (see below).  In order for transmission to occur, a number of requirements must be met.

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HIV transmission requires the presence of HIV positive fluid (such as semen, vaginal fluid, pre-cum, rectal fluid, breastmilk, etc), coupled with a High, Low, or Negligible Risk activity, that provides the virus with direct access to the bloodstream. 

Also, the exposure to oxygen, coupled with the fact that there was no direct access to your bloodstream, means there is No Risk of transmission from this activity. One study on HIV transmission and saliva has indicated that "In saliva, inhibition of HIV may be partly due to several inhibitors of viruses that are present in the saliva" (1). With this knowledge, it appears as though there are certain mechanisms that the body produces which render HIV inactive in saliva, essentially making HIV transmission through saliva challenging. 



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

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, 

Sonali

 

1. Why Is HIV Rarely Transmitted by Oral Secretions?



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