Anonymous
Can HIV be transmitted through mouthwash bottle caps? I use them to rinse daily, and I had a deep teeth cleaning by an oral hygenist yesterday at the dental office, which left some bleeding and bruising in my gums and teeth though I didn't see any today (it may be microscopic). Also, I don't share my mouthwash with anyone, but I was concerned because so many people may have held my mouthwash bottle at the store by holding the top (cap) but declined to purchase the mouthwash. Okay, thank you.
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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for contacting AIDS Vancouver with your question.

It seems you are concerned about contracting HIV from a casual contact. We are glad to provide some information.

When HIV is exposed to oxygen it does not transmit. For HIV to transmit it requires direct access to you bloodstream as shown in the following transmission equation. there is no direct access to your bloodstream in the case that you describe.


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

Touching an object or surface that has been exposed to air does not pose a risk to HIV transmission even if that item has been touched by someone with HIV. You are not at risk of contracting HIV from the mouthwash bottle that you purchased.

When HIV is exposed to saliva it does not transmit because saliva has enzymes which inhibit HIV transmission. Your bleeding gums are not a risk. Dental clinics use sterilized equipment to clean or treat people and there is no record of HIV infection from a dental clinic.

The Aids Vancouver Helpline Online forum has postings that are related to your questions that you can refer to for additional information. If you have further questions feel free to contact us again.

Thanks for contacting AIDS Vancouver.

In health

Lawrence


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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION