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HIV risk from (possible) blood left on already cooked food "Bloody Brussels"

Jan 24, 2012

My roommate was cooking dinner the other night when she cut her finger pretty badly. She noticed she had cut herself after seeing a drip of blood on the floor. We found 3 drops of blood when cleaning up, one right next to a pot of sauteed brussels sprouts (which were only slightly warm when she cut herself). Unfortunately, I didn't think not to eat the sprouts until it was too late. I read through the archives, but they seemed to address food that was later cooked or was hot (mine was not) or food where the blood would be mixed in (like a sauce)or food that sat for a while post cut (we ate less than 2-3 min later). In my case, the blood would have remained on one or two sprouts, possibly upping the "dosage". If she were HIV positive and a drip of blood had fallen into the sprouts, am I at risk?

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for the question!

There's absolutely no risk for HIV from the incident you describe.

I'm glad to hear that you've been combing through our archived questions/answers! The details you're looking for pop up throughout the archive but maybe read in a different form that you're looking for. The "HIV can't live outside a human body" statement is what you're asking after.

Doesn't matter if HIV is on raw food, cooked food, a finger, or the floor. Once HIV leaves the body it immediately starts to die. Add in that there needs to be a significant amount of HIV+ body fluid (a drop or two, or ten isn't enough!) to transmit it. Then add on top of that, your mouth is not a good way for HIV to enter inside your body at all.

Dead HIV + Too little body fluid + bad way to get into the body = NO RISK

I hope, in your worry, that you haven't been giving your roommate a hard time.

If HIV risk is something you find yourself thinking about often, consider where that feeling may be coming from. Anxiety is a real thing and doesn't feel good. Sometimes more information helps it go away, sometimes talking to someone like a friend, family member, or even a counselor can help too.

Hope this helps!


P.S. Not to make light of the situation, but I LOVE Brussels Sprouts.

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