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Crack pipe and HIV transmission

Feb 28, 2002

How likely would it be to get HIV from someone who is infected by sharing a crack pipe with them? Considering if they had some blood in there mouth when they are using the pipe-like from poor hygene--gum disease or something?

Or if for instance there was a drug transaction made with someone who was storing the crack wrapped in plastic in their mouth. They gave me the crack and some minutes later I bit on the plastic to get it open probably touching the plastic that was in their mouth with my tongue.

Although this is risky behavior I thought I was not able to catch HIV from non needle drug use. However, lately I have been quite worried that I could have been mistaken?

Is this anxiety? or should I get a test. It has been almost a year since these risky activities.

Response from Mr. Kull

There is no evidence that supports HIV being transmitted in the ways that you describe. HIV is not known to be transmitted through sharing objects like drinks, straws, cigarettes, pipes, etc., with someone who is infected. This is because you are primarily coming into contact with saliva. If an HIV infected person's blood came into contact with your mouth, and relatively quickly, then there is the possibility of transmission and you should be tested. Otherwise, you are doing a lot of guessing about an unlikely route of transmission.

If you are interested in doing something about your drug use, check out some of the resources listed here at The Body: Getting Help for Substance Use


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