Anonymous
Hi, I have read that hiv does not survive in exposure to "oxygen", so I am wondering if hiv would survive inside an enclosed package or an enclosed space. I took an oral swab oraquick test and because I was nervous I didn't thoroughly check the swab to make sure nothing was on it. I am now terrified that hiv plasma (which is yellow) would have been on the pad... Would it have been able to survive since the test stick was inside an enclosed package, assuming someone from the manufacturers placed it in there by injecting the plasma into the swab, this way the blood went straight from syringe to cotton swab, thus not being exposed to "oxygen"...Would there be oxygen inside the package? There is air around it but not that much and since it is enclosed not sure this would be considered airtight, same as a syringe? Also, if there was hiv on the test and it came in contact with the upper and lower gums when swabbing, would this be the same as oral sex?? Going crazy.
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you have some questions about HIV and HIV transfer. We're happy to answer your question for you.

There is no risk of HIV transmitting this way. As you mentioned, HIV is a very fragile virus that is rendered intransmissible on exposure to the air. This includes the inside of a test tube. We're also not sure how the virus would be able to get inside the test tube without having come into contact with the air as well. Further, we encourage you to check out our transmission equation:
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
You'll see that required for transfer are all of a fluid involved in transfer, an activity known to be involved in transfer, and direct access to the bloodstream. Even if there was still somehow some viable virus in a fluid in the test tube, it would still somehow have to get into your body. Doing an oral swab is not an activity known to be involved in transfer, nor does it provide direct access to the bloodstream at all. For all of these reasons, there is no risk of HIV transmitting this way.

Thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope it has been answered fully.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION