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is it possible to transmit aids immediately after infection?
Mar 12, 1997

I had been exposed to aids - through a french kiss: I know that the infection probability is quite remote, but since I noticed that my teeth bleeded, I realized that this eventuality was not so unlikely. Since I had not-protected sex with my partner (including oral sex) is it possible that I infected her, just one-two weeks after having been infected? Thank you for your attention in advance.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Let me first emphasize here that you are not considered at any significant risk for HIV in the first place. When you are French Kissing someone, you are only being exposed to saliva. The concentrations of the HIV virus in saliva is so low, that nobody has ever been infected through saliva, and you are not considered at any significant risk for HIV infection. So your chance of infection is still unlikely, whether you have bleeding gums or not. Remember, saliva is a low risk body fluid as far as HIV is concerned.

As far as the question of when an infected person becomes infectious to others, we really do not know the very earliest time that this can happen. We do know that once HIV enters the body, it immediately begins to replicate in large numbers. Initially the viral load of a person becomes very high soon after infection (within several weeks). However, the immune system quickly gets the virus under control, and brings the viral load back down to much lower levels (but still high enough to infect others). Because we do not know the very earliest time that it takes to be able to infect others, we have to assume that once a person is infected, that they are capable of infecting others.

In your specific case, since you were never at any significant risk of infection in the first place, your other partner is not at any risk either. However in persons that have significant risks of infection (unprotected intercourse, giving oral sex, sharing needles etc.), we have to assume that they can infect other people very soon after infection. Remember however that we do not absolutely know the very earliest time that a person becomes infectious to others. To be on the safe side, we therefore assume that once a person is infected, they are infectious to others.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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