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HIV blood in consumed food
Dec 2, 2001

If an HIV-positive person got blood from his cut finger in some candy he was making, would there be danger to the consumers of the candy? The consumption took place 7 or more days after candy was made (no cooking involved).

Response from Mr. Kull

There is no evidence that people get infected with HIV by having their food prepared by HIV positive people. There are two main reasons for this:

1) HIV is only known to be transmitted in three ways: sexual transmission, blood-to-blood contact (injection needles and health care settings), and from mother to infant. Other routes of transmission are theoretical only. See "Can I get HIV from casual contact?" (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/faq/faq31.htm).

2) HIV does not survive long enough in the environment to pose a real risk through contact of this sort. Scientists found that drying fluids containing very high concentrations of HIV(concentrations that are not normally encountered in day-to-day life) reduced the number of infectious virus by 90% to 99%. It is safe to say, based on these laboratory studies, that HIV would become uninfectious realitively quickly when exposed to the environment, making transmission through indirect contact with another person's fluids remote. See "Survival of HIV in the Environment" for more information (http://thebody.com/cdc/survival.html).

RMK



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