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Cannot find similar topic, maybe a new one?
May 15, 2003

Dr. Kull,

I searched this forum, but could not find the similar topic, so would you please answer my question? There may be some other people being confused too. First of all, please bear with me and allow me to tell you my story. Four weeks ago, I went to a blind date and met a girl. After dinner, we were sitting on the couch and she started to cry talking about her sad story. I got very close to her, trying to comfort her. Then one of her tears droped on my lips. Without thinking, I just licked my lip and I could taste the tear. I did not think about it too much until now, I started to develop sore throat and headache (no fever), this started to make me concerned. I have a few questions here. 1). Since tear is also one kind of body fluid, is it possible to get HIV in the way I described? Exactly which fluid is possible for transmission and which ones are not? 2) Is there any research or statistics showing how many people have got infected by contacting with tears? 3) Do I need to worry about getting a test in three months?

Hope to get your answer. Thank you very much

Response from Mr. Kull

HIV is present in different body fluids at different levels. The highest concentration of HIV is in blood, so blood is most infectious. HIV is also present in semen and vaginal/cervial secretions, so HIV can also be transmitted sexually when there is contact with those fluids. Also, an infant can be infected when ingesting the breast milk of an HIV infected woman.

HIV is present in small amounts in saliva and tears; HIV is not present in sweat (perspiration) or urine. There is no evidence that anyone has EVER been infected through contact with any of these fluids. People only get infected by coming into contact with blood, semen, vaginal/cervical secretions, or breast milk. Therefore, testing is not indicated when coming into contact with tears.

RMK



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