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HIV transmission through mouthwash
Oct 13, 2000

Dear Dr. Reznik, This may seem a strange question, but what are your thoughts concerning the possibility of HIV transmission through the sharing of mouthwash? My roommate has frequent gum bleeding after brushing his teeth, and then uses the mouthwash directly out of the bottle instead of pouring it into the cap. If some of the blood got into the bottle, would the mouthwash then be infectious? Thank you. D

Response from Dr. Reznik

I would not think the sharing of a mouthwash bottle would put you at risk for HIV infection. Most mouthwashes have alcohol in them which would kill HIV and even if a small amount of blood made it into the bottle (not sure how this could happen), it would be so diluted as to not cause a problem.

It is important to point out that HIV is not transmitted via casual contact such as sharing drinking glasses.

DR


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