Anonymous
Hello.
I got a root canal done this morning.  Obviously blood and wound.  

When I was leaving the clinic, which is shared by a Dentist and a Doctor, I shook a Doctors hand and left.  Immediately after, I touched the area of my mouth where the root canal was done.

My worry is, what if the doctor moments/seconds before had touched one of his patients blood, and that blood got into my mouth where my root canal is.

Can I get HIV that way?  Is this a ZERO risk situation?  and why?  And for this specific incident do I need an HIV test?
Quote
helpline-volunteer
Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of transmission given an event where you shook hands with your doctor who may have had a previous patients blood on their hands. You then describe touching your mouth moments later.

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (Transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

Transmission is not possible in this given scenario for the following reasons: 

Hand to mouth transfer of blood does not fulfill the requirement of direct access to the bloodstream as part of our HIV Transmission Equation. This is because HIV outside of the body undergoes a rapid reduction in HIV concentration, making it extremely difficult to transmit person to person through this avenue. 

Further, if blood that had previously been on the hand of your doctor made its way to your mouth, of which there was fresh wounds, the saliva in the mouth itself would aid in the metabolism of HIV (1).

As indicated, there was no direct access to the bloodstream in this scenario. 

Please refer to our HIV Transmission Equation below for more information on the avenues of HIV transmission:


[image]
Recommendation: 

No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a healthcare professional for other health related questions

HIV and Saliva Resource (1)

Thank you,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Shawn

If you are satisfied with the Helpline service, please consider donating.
Quote

ABOUT THE HELPLINE | SUPPORT OUR WORK | RISK ASSESSMENT CHART | ANONYMOUS TESTING | DISCLAIMER | CONTACT

Charitable Registration #
10668 9896 RR0001


© 2019 helpline.aidsvancouver.org
Privacy Policy
Disclaimer

OUR ADDRESS

1101 Seymour Street
Suite 235, 2nd Floor
Vancouver, BC V6B 0R1
Canada


GET IN TOUCH

Main Phone: 604-893-2201
Fax: 604-893-2205
Email: contact@aidsvancouver.org