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household contact
Nov 30, 2002

Dear Doctor, My family has been living together with a HIV+ man for about a week's time. None of us had any sexually intimate contact with him but we share the same bathroom. I am now worrying about my parents cause I doubt he had shared our toothbrush (he had bleeding gum)/razor (although I am not sure). In addition, he had lesion on his head and his vomit may contaminate somewhere.

I can't tell my parents that they have been exposed to the danger of HIV. Need your help urgently. Thanks a million.

Response from Mr. Kull

Several studies have been conducted among families who live with an HIV positive person in the household. Only in rare circumstances was a person infected, and that probably involved direct contact with the infected person's blood. HIV is still only known to be transmitted through sex, blood contact (sharing needles, primarily), and from mother to infant.

Here is what the CDC recommends to reduce the chances of getting infected when living with an HIV positive person:

Casual contact, such as using the bathroom, sharing drinks, preparing food, and other day-to-day activities will not put you at risk for infection.

RMK



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