The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

saliva contains blood?
Sep 25, 2001

Look at this article in relation to HIV transmission through the oral cavity.

Title Blood in saliva of HIV seropositive drug abusers: possible implication in AIDS transmission. Author Piazza M; Chirianni A; Picciotto L; Tullio Cataldo P; D`Abbraccio M; Borgia G; Orlando R; Valletta G; Matarasso S; Vaia E Address Istituto di Malattie Infettive' II Facolt`a di Medicina e Chirurgia' Universit`a di Napoli' Italy. Source Boll Soc Ital Biol Sper, 67(12):1047-52 1991 Dec Abstract We have studied hemoglobin concentration in saliva of anti-HIV positive and anti-HIV negative intravenous drug abusers (IVDA) and normal controls and the relationship between hemoglobin concentration in saliva and number of CD4+ cells and clinical status of AIDS in anti-HIV positive IVDA. 120 anti-HIV positive IVDA' 112 anti-HIV negative IVDA and 116 normal healthy subJects not belonging to any risk group for HIV infection completed the study. Saliva was collected at awakening before brushing teeth and the concentration of hemoglobin was determined. Hemoglobin concentration in saliva in basal conditions is higher in anti-HIV positive IVDA with respect to anti-HIV negative IVDA (p less than 0.05) and controls (p less than 0.01). In anti-HIV positive IVDA hemoglobin concentration in saliva is higher in subJects with CD4+ cells less than 200/10(6) l with respect to subJects with CD4+ greater than 200/10(6) l (p less than 0.05) and in subJects with ARC/AIDS with respect to subJects with PGL or who are asymptomatic (p less than 0.01). SubJects with ARC/AIDS have a mean concentration of hemoglobin of 19 micrograms/0.1 ml saliva (range 0-153) which corresponds to 1.3 microliters of blood/ml saliva. If 10 ml of saliva are exchanged during kissing an average of 13 microliters of blood are transferred (110 microliters of whole blood at extreme range). Blood of symptomatic patients has an HIV titer of 7 TCID/microliters which for 10 ml saliva containing an average of 1.3 microliters blood/ml saliva corresponds to an average of 90 TCID (770 TCID at the extreme range).

The website for this is Does this article translate into saying that deep kissing and receiving oral sex (not performing it on someone), are transmission routes for HIV? If so, how big is the chance? I thought saliva was not a fluid that transmits HIV. I have read this in several places. What is true here?

Response from Dr. Young

In generaly terms, deep kissing and receptive oral sex are not associated with HIV infection. Confusion exists over our ability to say this statement with absolute confidence, since there are reported cases of transmission through these routes, and because in some circumstances actually isolate HIV from saliva (as pointed out in your reference).

I continue to recommend careful thought about possible risk of transmission in kissing and oral sex (both receptive and penetrative).

Test Results
4th drug+triple?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint