nose secretions mixed into food. (NASAL MUCOUS AND HIV, 2009)


Dr. Bob, One of my friend who is HIV positive, i invited him and he was eating spicy food, so his nose was leaking, so he used his left hand finger to clear the nose, and was using the same left hand with a spoonto take the curry from the bowl. I used the same spoon to take curry after wards and ate food. If his nose fluids/secretions fell into the curry bowl and i consumed some of it. Would i be at risk of HIV? Should i get tested. Please answer, i am very worried over this incident.



You're worried that your "virally enhanced" buddy used his finger to rub his drippy nose and then used the same hand to spoon out some spicy curry from a bowl. And you're worried you might have contracted HIV if some of his snot had gotten into the curry, which you subsequently ate. Hmm . . . . Dude (or dudette), your HIV worries are completely unwarranted for multiple reasons:

  1. The chances his snot actually made it all the way down the spoon and into your curry are remote at best.

  2. Nasal mucous that does not contain visible blood is not an HIV-transmission risk.

  3. Absolutely nothing (including HIV) survives in a spicy curry!

So relax Max! If your buddy's boogers wound up in the curry, all it did was add a bit of extra flavor. HIV testing is definitely not warranted! (See below)

Bon Appetit!

Dr. Bob

Coffee with AIDS and Milk (HIV IN NASAL MUCOUS) Mar 3, 2008

Can I get AIDS this way?

I was at Starbucks and ordered a cup of coffee. After I drank it, I remembered seeing the cashier who poured it wipe her nose with her hand. She may have just been itching it, but if she wasn't and she had mucous on her hand is there anyway I could get AIDS from this? (I am serious and very worried).

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Serious and Very Worried,

How many times have I told you the proper way to order your cuppa Joe at Starbucks? Now once again repeat after me: "Venti half-caf, half decaf, extra-hot, non-fat caramel macchiato with one Splenda in the bottom, extra whip, but hold the snot." Gee, now how difficult is that to remember?

So while you're sipping your java with extra boogers, if you were really so concerned you should have checked the archives. As with 99.9% of the questions I'm asked, I have already answered a number of questions similar to yours. (See below.)

Dr. Bob

hiv in nasal mucus? Aug 12, 2006

Dear dr. Frascino, does nasal mucus contain HIV and can an accidental ingestion of nasal mucus of a person with HIV and not on HAART be at risk? Thank you!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Nasal secretions similar to saliva, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, vomitus and feces are not implicated in the transmission of HIV, unless they contain visible blood.

Out of curiosity, how did you mange to "accidentally" chow down some HIV positive boogers?

Dr. Bob

nasal mucus Jul 23, 2007

hey dr. bob. first let me tell you, i love your sense of humor, and i think you're a cool guy. and a life-saver too. but i wanna ask you something: if an hiv+ person picks their nose ( which has a little bit f blood in it) and wipes it on something, and you touch it like 5 seconds later, and right after you touch it you wipe the inside of your eye (since the eye has muocous membranes). is this a way iv is transmitted? if so, then is the chance extremely low? please answer and have a nice day. thanks :)

PS: you the doc man.

Response from Dr. Frascino


The chances of transmitting HIV this way are essentially nonexistent, -- as are the chances you'd actually get an HIV-tainted bloody booger in your eye in the first place!

Dr. Bob