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Does saliva always contain blood?
Aug 23, 2001

Look at this article in relation to HIV transmission through the oral cavity.

Title Blood in saliva of HIV seropositive drug abusers: possible implication in AIDS transmission. Author Piazza M; Chirianni A; Picciotto L; Tullio Cataldo P; D`Abbraccio M; Borgia G; Orlando R; Valletta G; Matarasso S; Vaia E Address Istituto di Malattie Infettive' II Facolt`a di Medicina e Chirurgia' Universit`a di Napoli' Italy. Source Boll Soc Ital Biol Sper, 67(12):1047-52 1991 Dec Abstract We have studied hemoglobin concentration in saliva of anti-HIV positive and anti-HIV negative intravenous drug abusers (IVDA) and normal controls and the relationship between hemoglobin concentration in saliva and number of CD4+ cells and clinical status of AIDS in anti-HIV positive IVDA. 120 anti-HIV positive IVDA' 112 anti-HIV negative IVDA and 116 normal healthy subJects not belonging to any risk group for HIV infection completed the study. Saliva was collected at awakening before brushing teeth and the concentration of hemoglobin was determined. Hemoglobin concentration in saliva in basal conditions is higher in anti-HIV positive IVDA with respect to anti-HIV negative IVDA (p less than 0.05) and controls (p less than 0.01). In anti-HIV positive IVDA hemoglobin concentration in saliva is higher in subJects with CD4+ cells less than 200/10(6) l with respect to subJects with CD4+ greater than 200/10(6) l (p less than 0.05) and in subJects with ARC/AIDS with respect to subJects with PGL or who are asymptomatic (p less than 0.01). SubJects with ARC/AIDS have a mean concentration of hemoglobin of 19 micrograms/0.1 ml saliva (range 0-153) which corresponds to 1.3 microliters of blood/ml saliva. If 10 ml of saliva are exchanged during kissing an average of 13 microliters of blood are transferred (110 microliters of whole blood at extreme range). Blood of symptomatic patients has an HIV titer of 7 TCID/microliters which for 10 ml saliva containing an average of 1.3 microliters blood/ml saliva corresponds to an average of 90 TCID (770 TCID at the extreme range).

The website for this is http://www.gulftel.com/~scubadoc/AIDSref.htm Does this article translate into saying that deep kissing and receiving oral sex (not performing it on someone), are transmission routes for HIV? If so, how big is the chance? I thought saliva was not a fluid that transmits HIV. I have read this in several places. What is true here?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It says exactly what it says, and what we have known for some time, saliva can contain blood and therefore can contain the HIV virus. It makes no claim about transmission risk or presents data to support that claim.



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