Anonymous
I am living in a sharing accomodation, recently i joined here. Next day only i came to know that my neighbor is a gay. I m seriously tensed whether he is hiv patient. Yesterday he offered me a spoon of sweet which he was having, I received it in my hand because i was tensed of that spoon which he was liking got hiv salivawith blood. i just had few, i am realy scared of this activity because i m having cold sore, gum desease and also yesterday i used new tooth brush which hurts me. Please help me i m realy tensed of this.
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thank you for contacting our Helpline for HIV related information. We are happy to assist you.

There are many things I'd like to address in response to your post:

1) First of all, it is important to know that sexual orientation *does not have any effect on a person's risk of having HIV*. Anyone is at risk of acquiring HIV; it is the risky activity that causes there to be a risk, NOT the person. Anyone who engages in unprotected vaginal or anal sexual intercourse or needle sharing is at risk of HIV transmission. The fact that your neighbor is gay does not mean he is at a higher risk of HIV transmission than anyone else.

2) HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva on a spoon. HIV is not transmittable once it has been exposed to the air, so even if fluid containing HIV had been on the spoon it would not be a risk. Also, HIV is very rarely present in saliva, and very rarely gets transmitted through the mouth, because saliva contains an enzyme which inhibits HIV.

3) Symptoms can not be used to indicate whether or not a person has HIV. When HIV does cause symptoms from acute infection, which it only does in some people, they are similar to flu-like symptoms and are very non-specific. They can easily be caused by many other things, so having symptoms doesnt indicate HIV. Testing is the only true diagnosis method.

Overall, you are not at risk from what you have described, and your neighbor is not at higher risk of having HIV than anyone else you come in contact with. To find out how HIV can be transmitted please visit our Risk Assessment chart: http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart

I hope we have addressed you concerns. Feel free to contact us again if you have further questions.

Thank you,

Sandra,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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