STDs Expert Forum
HIV thru food?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HIV thru food?

Hi,

I wanted someone to assess my two possible exposures to HIV.  I know these may sound silly, but they've been lingering in the back of my mind.

1. I gave a "lick" of my ice cream to a friend of mine who has HIV.  I have mild gingivitis, but was not actively bleeding in my mouth, etc.  Chance of transmission?

2. At a brunch party on Sunday, my same friend who has HIV was helping prepare some food.  At some point, he inadvertantly nicked his thumb with a pearing knife.  He immediately went and got a band-aid, and I (not wanting to make a big deal and embarass him) casually checked for blood in the area he was working.  I could find none.  The knife was also rinsed thoroughly, and no one else preparing food had any open cuts.  The food was later cooked and served to me and my guests.  Any chance of transmission here?

Thanks for your time.
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There has never been a documented HIV transmission through such exposure and I suspect it never has occurred.  Consider household contacts who are not sex partners of HIV infected persons, living in the same household for 10 years or more, shaing the same bathroom, towels, cooking utensils, kitchen equipment, and food.  None of them has ever gotten infected.  This is why there are no work restrictions or special licensing requirements for HIV infected persons to work as cooks, food handlers, and waiters; thousands of such persons undoubtedly are HIV infected in the US alone.

So the answer is no, there is no risk.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
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