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Dirty Dirty Nose...

Dec 29, 2018

I read the question saying that snot doesn't contain enough of aids or HIV to pass it on but what if you use someone's nasal spray esp the one cheap one that sprays and sucks nasal spray instead of only spraying it and it collects over time becoming enough to pass on the virus? I'm just sorta confused because learning about it in school and hearing from people I guess it was always sorta portrayed as it can be passed even in microscropic amounts?.....

Response from Mr. Jacobs

As 2018 comes to a close we also acknowledge 37 years of coping with this worldwide pandemic known as HIV/AIDS. There have been incredible advances in HIV treatment and prevention that improved the quality and quantity of life for millions. We don't know when or if we will ever have a cure or a vaccine. But one thing we do know for sure: Nasal sprays carry no risk of HIV transmission.

HIV must be transmitted directly from the mucous membranes of a person with an HIV+ detectable viral load into the mucous membranes of another person. It cannot live outside the body, and cannot be transmitted through casual contact such as hugging, kissing, body rubbing, or sharing utensils, toilets, shaving equipment, toothbrushes, nor nasal sprays.

Now -- There is one thing you would want to consider in this set of circumstances. It's a small thing, but it's important for you to know.

Hepatitis C can live outside the body and remain infectious for several weeks (https://www.hiv.gov/blog/scientists-discover-hepatitis-c-virus-can-remain-infectious-outside-of-the-body-for-up-to-6-weeks). If you were sharing nasal sprays with someone who had did have HepC, bled on the nasal spray surface, and then if you inhaled their blood into you nostrils, there is medically a possibility for HepC to be transmitted that way. Again, a SMALL likelihood, but one that's important to know about.

You can easily reduce any possibility of acquiring HepC this way by simply wiping off the spray and cleaning it before use. Just simple water can remove any microscopic blood particles or germs that you don't want to inhale inside of you. Ideally you would have your own spray and not inhale anything that has been inside someone else's nose, but sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do.

FYI - This is the same recommendation I make if people are inhaling drugs and sharing sniffing apparatuses. CLEAN the surface off first -- just use your shirt or a tissue if you have to. That will go a long way to sustaining your health and wellness.

Here at The Body we often have people write in asking about casual ways people can acquire HIV. My colleague Roger Pebody put out this feature so people can read more about this impossibilities: http://www.thebody.com/slideshows/ten-common-fears-about-hiv-transmission. To learn more about how HIV is and is not transmitted, please read our resources here: http://www.thebody.com/content/30024/hiv-transmission.html

Thank you for writing in, I hope this information helps you to relax, inhale, and breathe easier!



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