Anonymous
I had went out one night with some friends, and when I got home (maybe 30 min later) I had noticed something on my hand, I tried to rub it away with my finger but it didn't go away so I licked my finger, rubbed it and some came off, so I re-licked my finger to finish removing it and it tasted what I think was like blood. Am I at risk for infection? As far as I know I have no open sores in my fingers or mouth. I read that Saliva also kills the virus. The size of the spot was about the size of a eraser from a pencil.

Thank You
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Anonymous
Hi there!
Thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV related questions and concerns. We are happy to help!

In terms of the situation you just described, that is considered No Risk for a couple of different reasons. First of all, like you said, saliva has an enzyme in it that helps to break down viruses and bacteria, therefore preventing infections. Additionally, the blood, if actually present, once exposed to air, is safe. This is because once HIV is exposed to air, it can no longer be passed on.

I am attaching the HIV Transmission equation here, which makes it easier to see what is required to pose a risk for HIV transmission:

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
Hopefully this was able to help you!

Sincerely,
Christina

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION