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Can saliva on an open wound transmit HIV?
Feb 22, 2013

Earlier today I had an accident which resulted in me loosing a large portion of flesh from my knee, and I asked my friend to get me a wet paper towel to try and clean it because we had no other medical supplies. He hinted at him spitting on the paper towel, but I'm not sure if he did. Should I be concerned about possible HIV transmission? (There was no sign of blood on the paper towel)

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

Saliva cannot transmit the virus. There are only four fluids that can transmit the virus. They are:

1. Blood

2. Vaginal Secretions

3. Semen including pre-ejaculatory fluids

4. Breast Milk

If if there were blood in his mouth, transmission would be unlikely. The virus does not live well outside of the human body. Once the blood entered his mouth the virus would start to die immediately. In addition, his saliva would help neutralize the virus as well.

Bottom line: Don't worry. You were not at risk.

In health,

Richard



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