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A co-worker just informed me that he has Aids
Aug 24, 1998

A coworker of mine just told me that he has been living with AIDS for the past Ten years. I am informed on this issue so I know that I cannot contact through sharing food or anything, but I am still concerned that saliva might transmit it. For example, if we shared a cigarette would that cause transmission.

I also would like more information on AIDS itself i.e: History of disease, prognosis. I was under the assumption that once someone's status changed from HIV to AIDS that they did not have much longer to live???? Where can I get more info on this??

Response from Ms. Breuer

Your concern is one of the most common concerns American have about this disease: can saliva transmit HIV? Fortunately, the answer is that there is no evidence that saliva can transmit HIV. The only four fluids we are likely to contact that transmit HIV are blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. In fact, saliva contains an agent that inhibits HIV. It's called SLPI. There are no cases of HIV infection traced to saliva. I'll spare you my comments on what you could get, however, from the cigarette!

Your primary obligation to your co-worker is to maintain his confidentiality. There is no reason to share his diagnosis with anyone else, and there are lots of legal reasons why you cannot. Please be sure this is clear to you, and write again if you have more questions about confidentiality.

Nancy Breuer

** Please refer the second portion of your question to the Safe Sex and HIV Prevention Expert Forum.



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