Transmission from cuts
Apr 8, 2006
I was recently mugged by five guys in an African country and one of these guys started biting my arm whilst the other thugs were trying to steal my wallet, watch etc. The bite guy broke the skin on my arm although I don't think there was any blood from his mouth on the bite mark.
Because I don't know if there was blood from bite guy on my arm my Doctor recommended PEP treatment and I've just concluded a four week course of Combivir.
From reading the responses on the site I am guessing my risk is low to freakin low but would appreciate your views on the level of risk.
Thanks Doc, you do great work!!!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Bites represent a potential means of transmitting HIV; however, HIV transmission by this route has been reported only very rarely. Being bitten by an HIV-infected person poses a theoretical risk if the skin is broken and if the biters saliva is contaminated with blood. Saliva that is not contaminated with blood contains HIV in only extremely low titers and constitutes a negligible exposure risk.
In your specific case, we do not know if your Hannibal Lecter was HIV positive or not. Plus, you've taken a four-week course of PEP. Consequently, all things considered, I'd agree with your transmission risk assessment: "freakin low." However, since you've had PEP, I would suggest you have your follow-up HIV screening tests.
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