Anonymous
Hello, I have a question about saliva and how it protects from hiv transmission:
My case is a bit bizarre and started with me eating pizza the other day, not chewing properly and then accidentally swallowing down a large piece of crust that punctured the back of my throat (probably not that dramatic but it hurt a lot, so much so that I could still feel this area being sore the next day). That second day then I was having some food delivered and part of it tasted funny, so then the thought hit me that if some bodily fluid had gotten into it from either the chef or the delivery guy - would saliva still be enough to prevent transmission, or do different rules apply when you have a sore/wound in your throat area as it might then provide access to your bloodstream?! I didn't taste any blood, but it's also the very back of my throat so probably wouldn't even show...
Thanks for your advice.
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Anonymous
Hello, and thanks a lot for your question to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It sounds as though you are concerned about the possibility of acquiring HIV through some food you had delivered. We will provide some information here that will ease your concerns about the possibility of transmission occurring in this situation.

This is absolutely a no risk situation, meaning HIV cannot be transmitted this way. HIV is a human to human virus and becomes intransmissible one exposed to air. In order for transmission to take place, body fluid from one person needs direct access into the bloodstream of another, and so it is not possible to acquire HIV from inanimate objects, surfaces, or food and beverages.

Check out our transmission equation to give you more of an idea about what is required for transmission to occur:

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION


BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection
Again, thanks a lot for your question to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. We hope this information helps you better understand HIV transmission.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION