Anonymous
Hello,
Last week, I made a mistake that has been haunting me ever since: I shared a shisha/hookah with someone who may have AIDS. It was very brief. I used the hookah two times that night. Both right after him. I'm not sure if he had any open cuts in his mouth. I don't think I had any either, although I did have/still have a minor case of Pericoronitis. But let's assume we both had open cuts in lips/gums, and his salvia on the hookah mouthpiece had some of his blood and then I used it immediately, and had a cut on my lip/gum. What are the chances of getting HIV this way?
I hope you answer my question soon.
I have been very paranoid because of this. I can barely sleep.

Thank you.
Quote
Anonymous
Hi there,

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

I can see that you're feeling some anxiety about a possible exposure to HIV and whether or not you are at risk.

FIrst of all, what you mean to say is that this person may have HIV, not AIDS: HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and it is the virus that is infectious through risky activities such as unprotected sex and needle sharing. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and is a disease that is caused by HIV after many years of infection, when the virus kills off the body's immune system and the person starts to get many opportunistic infections.

From what you described, it does not seem like you are at risk of HIV infection. HIV is generally not transmitted through the mouth. It needs a bodily fluid containing HIV to come into direct contact with the bloodstream through a risky activity:
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  
Saliva contains an enzyme that inhibits HIV, so it is very hard to transmit through the mouth. Even if there were cuts on the inside of his or your mouth, this risk would be Negligible - Negligible risk means that even though there are body fluids theoretically present (e.g. blood from cuts), there has never been a report of transmission in this way.

For more information about HIV transmission and risky activities, visit our Risk Assessment Chart: http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart

I hope I have addressed your concerns. Feel free to contact us again through our forums, email, or phone line if you have further questions.

Thanks,

Sandra

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer


AIDS Vancouver Helpline
Phone: 604-253-0566 ext 299
Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm (PST)
Anonymous and Confidential
Quote

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


= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION