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Bleeding gums/transmission of HIV infection
Sep 29, 2000

My brother is HIV positive and has ANUG. He frequently has fresh blood around his upper front teeth. Is it possible for me to be "at risk" by kissing him on the lips when blood is present? How about sharing the same fork when he is bleeding? Thanks for responding. Joe

Response from Dr. Reznik

For there to be a risk of transmission, you would have to have an open sore on your lips. There is no risk of transmission as long as your lip tissue is intact. There are no documented cases of transmission of HIV via casual contact which includes sharing eating utensils, drinking glasses, etc.

A bigger question is why your brother continues to have an issue with actively bleeding gums (gingiva). The treatment for periodontal conditions in HIV positive persons is not difficult. In some cases it is just a matter of a thorough cleaning and use of chlorhexidine mouth rinses such as PerioGard. In other cases, there may be a need to perform a deeper cleaning, use systemic antibiotics as well as the chlorhexidine mouth rinse.

I hope this helps.

DR


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