Anonymous
I just read that Starbucks uses semen in their drinks and I have their drinks everyday. HIV risk!
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as a source for HIV related information.

I feel this forum post would benefit from some clarification on HIV transmission. HIV transmission requires all of the following conditions:

1. Body fluids containing high levels of HIV, e.g. blood, semen, and vaginal/rectal secretions,

2. A high-risk activity, e.g. unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse or the sharing of needles, and

3. Direct access of HIV-containing body fluids into your bloodstream, e.g. through the vagina, anus, mucus membranes, or points of needle injection.

It is not possible contract HIV by drinking HIV-containing semen in coffee. HIV is an extremely weak virus that dies immediately once outside of the human body. It would not survive in coffee. In addition, saliva contains an enzyme that inhibits the growth and transmission of HIV, which is why you cannot contract HIV by kissing an HIV positive person or by sharing food/drinks with them. The route of HIV-containing semen from being ejaculated into coffee to your mouth is an extremely indirect route that 1) does not involve the direct access of HIV positive body fluids into your bloodstream, and 2) involves too many situations that kill the virus before transmission can occur. Therefore, even if a coffee shop *did* put semen into their drinks (which is extremely unlikely), there is no way anyone could contract HIV by drinking their coffee.

I trust I have addressed your concerns. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

In good health,

Tiina

AIDS Vancouver Volunteer
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