HIV Transmission and Testing > Am I Infected?

Consumption of Blood

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Foundry590:
Well here goes nothing.

I was referred to this site from within another one of the like in my search for assistance. It seems as though consistent information concerning both the spread and diagnosis of HIV is not easy to come by even in this day and age.

Now let me cut right to the chase; a mutual friend amongst our group is HIV positive. Itís no secret and heís certainly not treated any differently because of it. Albeit something occurred over the weekend that has put me in somewhat of an awkward position, and left me with a significant degree of worry.

At a function that took place, this person was inside preparing condiments for an outdoor BBQ at which point he managed to let the knife slip and cut his finger. At this point I was still outside, unaware of what had taken place. The part that worries me is that as he was upstairs dressing his wound, I came in with my food, took a few condiments and popped them into my mouth. It was when I went back for more that I noticed a small smeared puddle of blood on the cutting board from the spot where I had taken the condiments only moments ago.

I took a strip of paper dowel and dabbed it to be sure of what it was, and it was blood, all right. I then examined the board to find more spots. Some of which were on the food, so I took the whole board and emptied it into a garbage bag.

At this point I was informed of what had happened from someone there and told that our friend would need to be driven to a hospital for stitches.

Now from what I have read thus far, I understand saliva has the ability to prohibit the virus from remaining infectious. My specific problem is that at the time, I had a bleeding canker sore in my mouth; one of many that are the results of vigorous tooth brushing. Sometimes the brush scrapes the inside of my mouth and the result is a canker. These always bleed as I eat until theyíre fully healed. I went to check in a mirror and sure enough, the sore was slightly bleeding. Obviously not copiously, but there was a small trickle of blood.

As soon as I saw this I had begun to panic slightly. I got home later that day and did a little research. I found sites which mention that small abrasions in the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract could all serve as entry points for HIV. This of course, did not calm me down.

I mentioned this issue privately to another one of our friends and he wasnít exactly confident that it wasnít something to worry about. The best he could offer me was that in his opinion, it wasnít a very risky incident, yet I might consider blood tests just to be sure. If that is in fact what needs to be done, then Iíll wait it out and get tested.

I have not chosen to confront my friend with the injury directly about my concerns for the sake of possibly embarrassing him. I can only imagine the scope of his struggle with HIV and wouldnít think to further burden him with worries of my own. So in turn, I cannot provide you with information concerning his viral load or medication list: information that may have possibly assisted in an assessment of my situation.

And so here I am. Perhaps I might get some information to either validate or dismiss my fears, and provide possible suggestions as to what should be done in the opinion of people here, who seem to have a strong understanding of HIV in general. Hopefully Iíll get a few good responses.  :-\

Much thanks to everybody who has read this.

Andy Velez:
You're worrying needlessly. HIV is a fragile virus and not easily transmitted even under hospitable conditions such as unprotected intercourse.

So in the setting you have described, which by the way is a very common one with different variations, transmission is theoretical. In the real world of HIV science it just doesn't happen that way. Even if you actually consumed some food or whatever which had HIV+ blood on it and should it have inlikely remained viable at that point, your own saliva contains something like a dozen elements in it which inhibit HIV.

I don't see any cause for concern nor for testing. I do recommend that you read our lesson on Transmission. There's a link to it in the Welcome thread which opens this section. Reading it should further relieve your concerns.

Cheers,

Foundry590:
Mr. Velez, much thanks for the prompt reply. I'm just reading some of the pages in the Lesson section and the information here is more extensive than anything I've ever come across. I'm still alarmed that more sites like this aren't well known.

I have in fact read about the qualities in saliva that enable it to disarm the HIV strain, so to speak. It's incredible to think that such a precarious virus is vulnerable to something as common as saliva. And if I hadn't had that bleeding canker in my mouth at the time I probably wouldn't be here now. It's the whole blood contact issue that has me concerned.

ACinKC:
No need to worry this time as Andy said.  You are good to go.

Foundry590:
Two replies that encourage me not to worry? Wow that certainly makes it easier to breathe about this.

This even takes my bleeding canker sore into consideration?

And in terms of the pages that list sores such as cankers and other cuts in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract as sufficient entry points for the virus should it ever be swallowed; these can be regarded as incorrect?

 

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