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Avatar universal

Transmission

I had posted before, but I put my post in the wrong forum. So I'm going to try again. I want to get educated on this subject, and stop having false worries. Here's the deal..My boyfriend shared a smoking pipe with someone that may have HIV. My boyfriend has chapped lips and it worried me if transmission can occur. I don't know if the other guy had chapped lips, but if they both did can transmission occur?

1) How much blood would have needed to be on the pipe to transmit?

2) Are chapped lips a passage for HIV to enter?

3)I got diagnosed with hsv-1 so I don't know if my boyfriend of 1 1/2 has it too, but I'm almost positive he doesn't have lesions in his mouth. I figured that the pipe was really just coming into contact with his lips anyways. Is this accurate?

I have been over and over the "what if's" in my head and it's taking control of me. I just got tested last month and everything was fine. I hadn't had sex in over a year, so I know it was accurate.  The doctor on here told me there was no risk, but if you can just answer my three questions as to why. Thank you so much, I truly appreciate it :)
8 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Directly to the questions:

1) You could wash your mouth and gargle with an ounce of HIV infected blood, then you MIGHT get infected. Without an obviously bloody pipe stem, the risk is zero.

2) Nobody has been known to get HIV by kissing or by oral exposure to small amounts of blood.  And millions of people have have chapped lips, yet nobody gets HIV by kissing or oral contact with blood.

3) HSV-1 does not increase the risk of infection in people exposed to HIV.  Only HSV-2 does that.

You are overreacting to the point of irrationality.  If HIV could be transmitted in the ways you imagine, it would not be classified as an STD or blood-borne infection and it would be 100 times more common than it is.

Please put life's risks into perspective.  If you live in the US, you have 1 chance in 1,756 of dying of an accident sometime in the next 12 months (data from the National Safety Council).  The risk of HIV from the events you describe is hundreds or even thousands of times lower than that.  The things you need to do to avoid HIV are care in selecting sex partners, condoms outside committed monogamous relationships, and no sharing of injection equipment with drug user.  That's all.  

And don't forget your seatbelt.

Regards--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you so much doctor. I appreciate it! The CDC just scared me when they said, if blood is present on the pipe...but they never said how much. So I wasn't sure if it was just a small unnoticeable amount, or a very noticeable amount. And they said chapped lips may be an entrance for the virus. I don't know if they are trying to scare people and how accurate they were being.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Government agencies tend to take conservative positions on health risks.  If there is a theoretical risk, they lay it out as if it were derinite.  Also, the people who answer the CDC hotline questions have no independent knowledge; they are low-paid workers who are told exactly what to say and not say, essentially working from required scripts.
Avatar universal
Yeah, that's what I figured. They were reading me things I already read on their website. Word for word. One last question (I'm sure you hear that a lot)  But is it true that when HIV is exposed to an object...ie. the pipe, it lessens the virus as well as when it hits air.  And I read that saliva also does something to counteract the virus. My uncle just got diagnosed with HIV, and this insight will help me to better assist him and my family on myths and facts. Thank you once again!!
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Yes, drying kills HIV rapidly and saliva inactivates the virus.

Congratulations for working to educate yourself on behalf of your uncle.  Undoubtedly the last thing he needs is people to overreact about daily contact of the sort that is normal among relatives and friends, and that cannot transmit HIV.
Avatar universal
Exactly! Thank you so much. You are doing a wonderful thing here, you really are. Helping people like me, is something that not many can say they do. Taking time out of your schedule to comfort people is an amazing thing. Thank you!  I was dreading taking another HIV test. I'm driving my boyfriend crazy!! You think It's silly to go and take another one because of this incident?
Avatar universal
So ultimately, no test is needed? This will end my obsession over this issue. I just need to hear it from a professional. Please, and thank you :)
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
No need for testing.  That will have to finish this thread.
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