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Love Bites and HIV
Oct 25, 2002

Hi. Can you tell me the risks of transmission of HIV via love bites? Without biting through the skin, could love bites created by sucking the skin with the lips cause any transmission?

thanks

Response from Mr. Kull

The person who is doing the biting is clearly at more risk for infection than the person being bitten. The person doing the biting may come into contact with infected blood, which is highly infectious, as a result of the activity. The person who is being bitten is likely to come into contact with saliva, which is not known to transmit HIV. So the risk of transmission through being bitten is theoretical only, and highly unlikely.

There is at lest one documented case of HIV transmission occuring through an uninfected person being bitten by an HIV infected person. It was clear that the person doing the biting had their own blood in their mouth. Blood is known to transmit HIV; saliva is not. This case could actually be considered blood-to-blood transmission and not transmission through the biting alone.

If the skin is not broken, there is absolutely no risk for transmission since fluids aren't coming into contact with mucous membranes or the bloodstream.

RMK



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