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HIV and AIDS

Can I Get HIV From Saliva?

06/21/2006

Question:

Someone spit on my garbage can at work and I moved my can and put my hand in it. When I realized what it was, I wiped off my hand and washed my hands and used hand sanitizer. If,(and I know it's probably a remote possibility) this person had HIV or something, do I have a chance of getting it this way or am I being paranoid? Thanks.

Answer:

HIV is transmitted principally by exposure to blood or during sexual encounters. The risk of acquiring HIV from saliva is exceptionally small and non-existent if your hands did not have major cuts in them.

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Response by:

George S Deepe, Jr, MD George S Deepe, Jr, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Director of Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati