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Sharing soup with hiv+ friend?

Oct 28, 2017

Hi Damon

I recently shared soup with my friend who is living with hiv, I know it doesnt transmit by saliva but im worried he may have had blood in his mouth from bleeding gums or something.

If there was blood in his mouth could i be infected? How much blood would there need to have been and could the virus survive in the soup for seconds? Sorry I know it sounds stupid, but im worried cuz i sometime have bleeding gums when i brush my teeth.

Also i kissed my bf like an hour later, could the virus have survived in my mouth for an hour than infected him?

Sorry for asking this, and I really really hope you answer cuz i hate thinking this way and need information

Response from Mr. Jacobs

Back when AIDS first devastated our communities in the early 1980s, there was an abundance of fear about giving and receiving the deadly virus through casual contact. People didn't know if you could get AIDS from touching, kissing, crying, or even sharing silverware and cutlery. I remember people thinking you could get it by sharing a cigarette, or a drink at a bar. It was a terrifying and traumatic time.

By September 1983, it was understood that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact. The CDC came out with guidelines that clearly stated that AIDS could not be transmitted "through food, water, air, or environmental surfaces." (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000137.htm).

Despite these conclusive findings, we are often still asked here at The Body.com if HIV can be transmitted through casual encounters such as stroking someone's genitals, receiving a massage, touching an ATM machine, and yes, sharing soup.

That's a roundabout way of clearly and emphatically stating "NO" to your question. Even if your friend with HIV had a detectable (transmittable) viral load, you still cannot get HIV from sharing soup. HIV must be deposited from the mucous membranes of one person into the mucous membranes of another, hence why anal sex, vaginal sex, and IV drug use are the most common routes of transmission between adults. There is no possible route for detectable levels of HIV to have entered into your mucous membranes via broth.

I also want to add a reminder here that a person with HIV who is undetectable for a consistent period for six months or longer cannot transmit HIV to others (http://www.thebodypro.com/content/78550/hiv-undetectable-does-equal-uninfectious-the-swiss.html). This is another important factor here, and it is possible your friend living with HIV is untransmittable, and can share blood or semen or any other fluids without concern of HIV transmission.

Your question is not all 'stupid', but does illustrate a profound failure on behalf of the healthcare workers in your area, as well as the unscientifically based fears in our community as a whole. I understand that HIV/AIDS remains a ubiquitous barrier to people connecting, loving, and fucking. But we have known for over 30 years how to connect, love, fuck, and share soup together without increasing HIV transmissions.

I hope this information helps you to have a greater understanding and certainly about the choices you make and how you share your body and utensils with scientific knowledge and empowerment. For more information about HIV transmission, please check out our library here at The Body.com at: http://www.thebody.com/content/30024/hiv-transmission.html



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