Dec 13, 2001
I found one of my roommmates using my toothbrush recently, and I'm sure it wasnt the first time. I just had an HIV test and it was negative, however I'm unsure of their status, although I know they have been in a steady relationship for almost 2 years. My question is my gums bleed so should I be concerned about getting something from them??? How high are the risks? Since they've probably used it before and we've been living together for a year, should I just assume it was accounted for on the last test?
| Response from Mr. Kull
Even if your roomate is infected with HIV, it is highly unlikely that HIV would be transmitted to you by sharing a toothbrush. Transmission through sharing a toothbrush is not a likely event; there is no actual evidence that HIV has been transmitted this way. One explanation for this could be that HIV does not survive in the environment long (see http://www.thebody.com/cdc/survival.html).
HIV is spread in three main ways: sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact (usually sharing injection needles), and mother-to-infant.
It is recommended that one does not share the toothbrush or razor of an infected person because blood left on the objects could transmit HIV. These recommendations exist as a precaution primarily for those living or having contact with HIV infected individuals.
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