Anonymous
I have a strange question to ask you. I was told that mucus does not transmit HIV---and I assume that means snot, boogers, etc.---but suppose if someone has bloody mucus? I had a cashier rub/dig inside her nostrils while swiping my foods and drink this evening, and I was kind of concerned. I still haven't dealt with my dental issues---I need an extraction/crown work and perhaps fillings. Some of my teeth are broken as well, and my gums bleed on occasion. Now, given the issues that I have with my teeth and gums, suppose if someone has the issues that I mentioned, and their gums bleed and they eat foods and have drinks that were touched by someone who was rubbing/digging in their nostrils while they were swiping their groceries and drinks? If the cashier has bloody mucus, and the mucus ends up on the foods and drinks, even microscopically, couldn't that theoretically transmit HIV into the broken teeth and bleeding gums? Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hi there, thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver helpline with your HIV related questions and concerns. We're happy to help

I understand where your concerns lie! Hopefully my answer, though, will be able to ease those worries.

This situation, regardless of the variables involved, is a No Risk Situation, for 2 reasons.

1) Primarily, and the reason that this situation is undoubtedly no risk, is that HIV is a delicate virus that needs to be within the human body to survive. This means that once HIV (in bodily fluids) is outside of the body and in the general environment, it becomes damaged and inactivated, and can no longer be passed on. This means that if there was blood/mucous/etc. in the foods that you purchased, that would no longer pose a risk to you, because the HIV present there would no longer be infectious!

2) Adding to protection, saliva contains an enzyme that helps to break down viruses, protecting from infections in the mouth. Additionally, your bleeding gums/mouth issues would have to be rather severe (resembling wounds after a major dental surgery) to provide direct access to the blood stream.

Overall, there is No Risk here!

I hope this helped,

Please visit our website or avert.org for more reliable HIV information.

Sincerely,

Christina


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

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