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HIV from drinking scotch.
Jul 18, 2007

Hi Dr. Brian,

I had been here to a restaurant, and then I was drinking scotch. I realised that one of the bartender suddenly poked into something, and had a finger injury and she was bleeding. Because it was busy, she was just filling up the orders(drinks) without taking care of the injury. Later on after fifteen minutes, when it became a little slow, the manager brought a bandaid for her. Looking at this, I ordered the drink from a different bartender, I ordered a scotch, if there was blood was in the ice or in my drink, and if the blood was HIV infected, am I at risk of getting HIV?

I drank the scotch, I get this doubt because she was busy giving drinks to that waitress, without taking care of the injury. So, she was using the hand in the same ice for every drink. Please answer, i am getting so paranoid about this.

Response from Dr. Conway

I will start by telling you that I have never heard of HIV being transmitted in this way. In theory, what would be required is for the live virus in the infected person's blood to survive being soaked in alcohol (the scotch), then survive being in your mouth (where enzymes that break down the virus are present) then enter your bloodstream through an open sore in your mouth. If the virus got down to your stomach, the acid there would surely kill it and that would be that. I would not even worry about the risk of HIV transmission from this event.



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