HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Worried
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Worried

Dear Docters,

Today I had a bad experience at the dentist and wanted to know if I could have been exposed to anything because of it (this happened in London, England)

I went to the dentist for a check up and the dentist gave my teeth a deep clean. This made my gums bleed quite a bit they gave me some mouth wash in a cup to wash out my mouth. I was about to take a sip of the mouth wash from the cup and noticed there was something in the cup, I assumed it was part of the mouth wash so took a sip some blood came out of my mouth and mixed with the mouth wash when I did this. I noticed that my blood looked the same as what was in there previously so can only assume that there was blood in the mouth wash before I took a sip myself (I think they may have forgot to give me a new cup and gave me one that had been used before). At the time I though it could have been my blood but thinking about it I don't think I had taken a sip when I saw this so can't see how it could have been.

So in short, worse case scenario is I took a a few sips of mouth wash with someone else's blood in it, I also washed this mouth wash around my mouth and my gums where bleeding at the time

On the plus side even if someone else's blood was in there, it would have been in the mouth wash for a little while (at least 5mins) while I was having my dental treatment done.

Is it possible I could of caught anything due to this? Also do you think I should be tested and / or get PEP?

Thanks

239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You are worrying needlessly.  I'm sure the blood you saw in the cup was your own; I cannot imagine that any dentist would ever re-use rinse cups between patients.  It is also statistically unlikely the patient before you had HIV.  And even if both of these unlikely scenarios were realistic, swallowing HIV infected blood is not an especially high risk for HIV.

My advice is to forget this entirely.  You definitely do not need either testing nor PEP on account of these events.

Regards--  HHH, MD
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