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Question on saliva, sweat, and tears

Dec 19, 2000

I have read in many places that sweat contains no HIV and that HIV is normally only present in saliva and tears when there is thrush or sores in the mouth or eyelids. My question is, even though saliva and tears may contain small amounts of the virus that cannot be transmitted through intact skin and mucus membranes, what are the chances of the virus being transmitted through tears or saliva coming in contact with a mouth ulcer, a scab on the skin, or dried and chapped skin? This question may seem ridiculous, but I have not found any information regarding this topic. Thank you.

Response from Mr. Kull

Saliva or tears coming into contact with mucous membranes, sores, scabs, or not, is unlikely to cause infection. The quantity of HIV in these fluids is probably too low to actually infect another person.


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