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HIV risk from sharing cup
Jun 2, 2013

Hi Dr. Wohl,

Greeting! I am Jale from Vietnam. I am living with an HIV positive friend who just started on ARV. I tried to be helpful to him as he is still currently studying. I have some few undertsanding with HIV. Currently, I am using separate sets of spoon, forks, glass, cups and teaspoon and I store my set in the fridge separate from him. Just recently, I accidentally used his cup to prepare a hot coffee. The cup was just used by him around two hours before I used it and he did not wash the cup after his use. I thought it was mine and so I accidentally used it without risning. I am a bit worried because two days after that event while I was brushing my teeth, my gum bled and I discover some oral ulcer in the roof of my mouth. I suspect that the oral ulcer might already be present when I used his unwashed cup. I did not see any blood in the cup but I am not sure if he himself has an existing oral ulcer. Am I at risk for HIV transmission and if this situation warrants testing?

Thanks

Jale

Response from Dr. Wohl

Let me be perfectly clear, Jale, you can not get HIV from sharing a cup or eating utensils with someone who is infected. You can not get HIV from touching or kissing someone with HIV. You can not get HIV from someone with HIV if they cough or sneeze on you or if yoy share a toilet with them.

In fact the ONLY way you can get HIV from your friend would be to have anal sex with him or inject yourself with a needle that he has previously used.

I would recommend you start sharing dishes and forks, and spread the word so that others can not let irrational fears stigmatize those living with HIV.

DW



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