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Dr. Aberg, Please answer! Important question
Jul 6, 2003

Can I get HIV from using someone elses toothbrush? What would the circumstances have to be in order to contract it? Should I be tested? Have any studies been done on this to prove your answer? Thank you so much!!! NC

Response from Dr. Aberg

Theoretically, it could be possible to transmit HIV via a toothbrush if someone with HIV had bleeding gums and then the next person put the bloody toothbrush in their mouth with either open sores or bleeding and not rinse it between users. But, why would you do this and not at least rinse the toothbrush first?

The point is simple. Yes, it could happen. I know of no studies to prove this. It would be unethical to conduct such a study to see if a person could transmit HIV via a toothbrush. I always recommend household contacts not to share a toothbrush not just because of HIV but also other potential transmissable infections. But as far as it relates to you, I would stop panicking about getting HIV because you used someone else's toothbrush.

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