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Apr 18, 2014

If someone with a undectable rna viral load (less than 20 copies) used a floss on the teeth and gum and the floss was covered with the blood, and if the other person used the floss, could this transmit hiv?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Personally and professionally, my view is that anyone who flosses with used and bloodily entail floss deserves what they get. Call me cold and heartless but there are some behaviors that evolution does not favor and this is on that long list.

But, let our (your) imagination run free and ask the 'what if?'. Provided the source of the blood had an undetectable viral load the risk would be staggeringly low that there would be sufficient virus on the floss to infect another person. Further, assuming that there was some interval of time between the first floss and the second, a further decay of any HIV population would ensure, minimizing risk even more.

Bottom line is that people with undetectable viral loads have a hard time transmitting their HIV to others, yes, even via used floss. And, that floss is a single use product. Always.


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