whitedoor2000
I was at a deli and I saw what looked to blood on this guys glove. He ended up taking the glove off, putting new ones on and finishing my sandwich. I didn't think anything of it during the time, but then I started thinking if he had HIV was I exposed? I saw on your chart "taking blood in the mouth" is considered low risk, yet i've read other reports that said you can't get HIV from food with blood on it. SO which is it?? Thanks!
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helpline-volunteer
Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission from eating food that potentially came into contact with gloves that may have been contaminated with blood. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

Even if the gloves did have HIV positive fluid (such as blood) on them, HIV is extremely sensitive to the outer environment. Exposure to oxygen in the air causes HIV to undergo a rapid reduction in concentration (1). From the CDC, HIV contained in a fluid has a rapid (within several hours) reduction in concentration of 90-99%, which would render it inactive (1).

It is also worth mentioning that even if you consumed food that was possibly contaminated with an HIV positive fluid, HIV does not spread through saliva (2). Saliva can "inhibit HIV replication in infected cells and can rapidly kill HIV-infected leukocytes" (3). 

The main difference between the risk assessment of taking blood into the mouth and consuming food with blood comes down to how closed the environment is. What I mean by this is whether or not there was sufficient times/space for oxygen exposure to inactivate any HIV particles. For example, if one had blood in their month following oral sex, this would present a much higher risk level, due to the fact that it we would be dealing with a more closed off environment in that scenario.

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a healthcare professional for other health related questions.
 
Take care,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Shirley

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Additional Resources: 
(1) HIV Environmental Exposure
(2) HIV Transmission Basics
(3) The Oral Mucosa Immune Environment and Oral Transmission of HIV/SIV
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