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sharing food risk during chemo

Apr 22, 2010

Dear Dr. Bob,

I've just finished four cycles of chemotherapy and am currently in cancer remission! I do have a question though... to celebrate the completion of this, I went to dinner with a friend who just recently discovered he is HIV positive. I might have come into some contact with his saliva when he tried a bit of my soup. Normally, I wouldn't be concerned about transmission risk but since I was still immunocomprised during the dinner (had thrush and maybe a tiny mouth sore), I'm a little worried. Based on my cursory knowledge of viruses, my understanding is that the hot soup (which contained vinegar) probably broke down most of the virus with its heat and acidity. I also assume that dilution of the virus would make it less infectious, as with the presence of oxygen?

I just wanted to be sure my logic is current... By all means let me know!

Many thanks and hope you are well!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Congratulations on your remission! Regarding your HIV-acquisition risk, it's nonexistent for all the reasons you mention. Plus, saliva (that does not contain visible blood) is not considered a risk for HIV transmission.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Can Other Bloodwork Indicate Possible HIV Infection?
Dr. Bob, you are ignoring my question, a cry for help from Dallas downtown, so that you could hear in San Francisco.

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