Anonymous
Recently I went to dentist to check my swollen teeth . I was worried since then as the tools she used were packed and sealed , she opened in front of me , however the latex gloves were already beside those tools , I don’t know whether she used the same latex gloves while treating patient before me ... with the gloves she touched my gums n few teeth , can u please tell if there is any risk of hiv in this scenario as I’m really worried 
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helpline-volunteer

Hello,


Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission from re-used latex gloves touching your gums. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

Theoretically, if the gloves were used with a previous patient and came into contact with fluid that may contain HIV such as blood, exposure of the fluid to oxygen would quickly render the virus inactive. HIV does not survive long outside of the body and cannot replicate outside of the human host (1). It also quickly undergoes a reduction in concentration (90-99% within a couple of hours) this reduces the risk of environmental transmission of HIV to essentially zero (2). It is also important to note that HIV is not transmitted through saliva (1).

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

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Rashell


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


References:
1.) HIV Transmission Basics.
2.) HIV in the Environment.

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