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Mr. Kull-please answer
Jul 31, 2003

Mr. Kull, I recently used someone elses toothbrush the other night and am now concerned about the HIV virus being spread this way. I had bitten my cheek earlier that night and I also have wisdom teeth coming in with broken skin. What are the chances that HIV can be spread this way if the toothbrush had blood on it? How soon after the person (of whom I don't know the HIV status of) would I have had to use the toothbrush in order to contract it if that person was HIV positive? Please answer and please dont refer me to another post or site. I think I have read them all and the answer I am looking for or have been getting says something different everywhere I go. - I am really concerned about this! Thank you so much!

Response from Mr. Kull

Transmission through this route is unlikely. Even if this person whose toothbrush you used were confirmed to be infected with HIV, I would still tell you that it is highly unlikely that HIV would be transmitted to you by sharing a toothbrush.

Transmission through sharing a toothbrush is not a likely event for many reasons; there is no actual evidence that HIV has been transmitted this way. One explanation for this could be that HIV does not survive in the environment long.

HIV is spread in three main ways: sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact (usually sharing injection needles), and mother-to-infant.

It is recommended that one does not share the toothbrush or razor of an infected person because blood left on the objects could transmit HIV. These recommendations exist as a precaution primarily for those living or having contact with HIV infected individuals, not because the odds for transmission through this rotue are high.

RMK



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