Anonymous
If I ingested HIV positive blood accidentally from a fork, am I correct to say that I am at no risk of HIV as long as there is no bleeding cuts in my mouth? I know that HIV can't stay for long in the air, but what about if it is less than 60 seconds? Like almost immediate contact?
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline regarding HIV/AIDS related information.

This is classified as a no risk activity because any HIV that would theoretically be present would have died as soon as it was exposed to the air. In addition, saliva contains an enzyme that prohibits the growth of the HIV virus. Lastly, it is important to note that while one of the bodily fluids that may contain HIV is in fact blood, it would still need direct access to the HIV- person's blood stream to place you at risk for contracting the virus. Direct access means unprotected vaginal or anal penetration, the sharing of needles for the purpose of injection, or a deep, fresh and profusely bleeding wound.

HIV is considered to be a sexually transmitted disease because that is its most common form of transmission. You cannot contract HIV by sharing food, drinks or other everyday objects with HIV+ people.

Another interesting thing for you to consider is that the drug treatments for HIV have improved tremendously in the last few decades. HIV+ individuals now enjoy long and healthy lives. Many HIV+ people achieve a viral load so low (through treatment) that they are considered to be "undetectable" and their risk of transferring the virus to another individual decreases by as much as 96%.

I trust that I have addressed all of your concerns, should you need further information, feel free to contact us again.

In health,

Chantelle

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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