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AIDS risk with heroin addicted brother
Aug 30, 2012

Hi there,

My brother has been a heroin adict for the past 7 years and things are looking very bad these days, he is verry thin and alway has sores over his body (probably from the needles etc from injecting himself all these years, but anyway he visit my sister and used het toothbrus right before she did and did not tell her - would you pls be so kind as to go thourg all the risks with me my siter have been worried sick about it for the past few days now that mabe she cought something from him!!

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

There's no risk for HIV from this situation, we can say that right off the bat. You may be more curious about Hepatitis B and C which can be transmitted through dry blood. Typically, we recommend not sharing toothbrushes because if someone with Hepatitis B or C has bleeding gums then the blood could remain on the toothbrush and get into the next person's mouth. There could be risk there.

However, it's important to use your best judgement if you're judging risk: Did your sister wet/wash her toothbrush off before using it? Does your brother even have something like Hepatitis B or C?? I'd be curious since he has a history of shooting up drugs, but that by no means says that he's carrying it!

Sounds like it'd be good to have a talk with him about boundaries at the very least..

Hope this helps!

Erik



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