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Bloody Brussels
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Bloody Brussels

My roommate was cooking dinner last night and when doing so, she cut herself. We only noticed when we saw the drop of blood on the floor (and later found two more drops on the stove, right next to a pot of sauteed brussels sprouts). We patched her up, cleaned up the blood, and finished serving the food. Without thinking, I had the brussels sprouts for dinner. My concern is if she passed her hand over the pot of brussels sprouts (we were in the middle of serving when we noticed the bleeding), and blood dripped into the sprouts, as it did onto the stove merely inches from the pot, that I could get HIV from this instance. I've read through many posts and they all seem to address hot foods (mine was barely warm), foods where the blood would get mixed in (in my case, it wouldn't have been mixed, but would have been "delivered" all in one/two bite(s)), or food that sat for a while before being eaten (we ate 2-3 minutes after we noticed she was bleeding). If she were HIV positive, and blood made it into the sprouts or any of the other food that we had prepared, would I be at risk? How great of a risk? Is testing warranted in this situation?
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239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

You should not be in the least concerned about HIV in this situation. First, you give no evidence to suspect your roommate might have HIV.  (If you're worried about it, ask her!).  Second, even if you consumed a drop or two of his blood, there would be no measurable HIV risk.  Swallowing infected blood or secretions is low risk, and it's certainly nil with only a drop or two -- and certainly if it were diluted in the food the way you describe, and assuming the food was hot, there is just no chance at all.

In summary, there is absolutely no risk and no testing is necessary. But I do suggest you speak with your roommate about it.  If she acknowledges having HIV, or being at high risk (e.g. if she is an injection drug user who shares needles), you could always be tested for the reassurance value of the negative results.  But honestly, I see no need.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
My concern is that my food wasn't hot, and wasn't diluted (we didn't even mix the sprouts post-bleeding, before putting them on the plate). Given this, can I still assume that if she's not high risk (she's not), I don't need to obsess or test?
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Avatar_m_tn
Last comment... I also had a canker sore at the time... is this a factor? Still no risk, no test?

Thanks again!! I'd love to just drop this once and for all.
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239123_tn?1267651214
These additional details do not change my opinion or advice.  There is no risk and no need for testing.  And it sounds like you're convinced your partner is not at high risk for HIV anyway.

I know you are concerned, but you should understand that in the 30 year history of the world's known HIV/AIDS epidemic, nobody has ever been known of even suspected to be infected in this manner.  It doesn't happen!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Dr. H. I'll sleep well tonight thanks to you. Many thanks.
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University of Washington
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