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HIV and AIDS

Can I Get HIV If Someone Bled Alittle In My Mouth?

01/12/2004

Question:

About six weeks ago I kissed someone and their tongue got cought in my retainer, it bled a little bit. I asked their HIV status, of course they said negative. What would be the chance of contracting HIV this way? I had the oraquick test done last week, it was negative. (The test was done after six weeks of the possible exposure.)

Answer:

This is a good question. HIV is passed most commonly when having sexual intercourse. Deep kissing is not known to transmit HIV. In this case, where a little blood from someone got in your mouth, the risk is very, very low. There are very few reports of people catching HIV this way. In people that work in hospitals where exposure to blood is more common, there are reports of blood splashing in the mouth or eyes and none, to my knowledge that resulted in HIV infection. I think you can be reassured. I am reassured that you are thinking about this issue and trying to protect yourself. The best advice is that if you are thinking about having sex with someone, both of you should get tested first. If you want to be absolutely sure that nothing happened, then you should have yourself tested in 3 months and 6 months. If those are both negative, then no harm was done.

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati