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Can you get HIV from drinking another persons blood?

Nov 3, 1999

I recently ended a period in my life where I enguaged in CONSENTUAL blood drinking(cut one's self and allowing another to drink your blood and vice versa)... This included about 5 people... I never had any open cuts or sores and have no peircings in my mouth(lip, toung, etc.) but I am terrified about infection... on a side note I have never ingaged in unprotected sex(rather ironic).. BUT the blood drinking is what I am most conncerned about and I have no Idea what risk that puts me at... I mainly asked this question because blood drinking Is a subject never discussed(and as a result have little if any clue how high the risk is), mostly because the people whho ingage in it are reluctant to talk about it(and there are many more people who do, than most people believe... thank you

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question. I agree with you that drinking other peoples blood is a ritualistic act that rarely gets discussed. If you drink the blood of a person who is infected with HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases (whether they are showing symptoms or not), you would indeed be at a significant risk for these diseases. The more blood you drink, and the more times you drink another persons blood, the greater the risk of infection. It is therefore recommended that you get tested for these diseases if there was any chance at all that any of the other people may be infected. On a related topic, please read the posting, Licking Blood, "blood brothers" and similar types of exposures.

Let me also point out that in some cultures, people will drink animal blood. In this case, a person would not be at risk for these diseases, but they may be exposed to certain animal diseases (known as a zoonosis) which may sometimes be harmful to humans.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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