[Question #2161] Shared drink?

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85 months ago
Hi again doctors. I believe I know the answer to this but I want to be sure. I work with someone who is HIV positive and I accidentally drank from their cup of starbucks. I'm worried I may be at risk. I worried perhaps there was blood in their drink that then got into my mouth? I think this is no risk but I'd like to know for sure.

Thanks
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85 months ago
And for whatever it's worth, I don't know if they had coffee, water, or some other liquid in their cup. I can't remember the taste exactly. I hope the content of the liquid does not make a difference.
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
85 months ago
Welcome back to the Forum. your question is in some ways similar to question 2113 which I just responded to and suggests a misunderstanding of how HIV is transmitted.  As I said in that post, "To start with, with the possible exception of laboratory accidents where HIV is being studied, the only meaningful risk factors for HIV are unprotected penetrative sexual encounters or injection of infected material deep into tissue in the way that a contaminated needle would.  Even with such exposures, most exposure to infection does not lead to infection- for instance, the risk for acquiring infection through unprotected penile-vaginal intercourse between an infected and uninfected person is less than 1 infection per every more than 2000 exposures (i.e. having sex with an infected person once a day every day for about 5 and 1/2 years)."  Casual contact , including drinking from the same glass (no matter what liquid is in it) or eating form the same spoon or fork as a person with HIV is not a risk for HIV and should not concern you.  This is the case even if that person had poor dental hygiene, a sore on their mouth, or blood in their mouth.   There is no reason for concern and no reason for testing related to having drunk from the same cup.  I hope this clarifies things.   EWH
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85 months ago
I assume that if I got some blood on my fingers (not a direct transfer, but blood I may have touched on an environmental surface like a water fountain) and then into my mouth, this would also be a very, very low risk and not warrant testing?
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
85 months ago
Correct- If someone with HIV and a bloody mouth or lip used a drinking fountain before you drank out of it, or even drank from a cup or straw before you used them, I would not be worried and would not recommend HIV testing (having said that, think about just how rare that would be- would you really drink from a cup with visible blood on it?).  EWH
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85 months ago
I was thinking if my hands touched a bloody surface and then I put my hands in my mouth not if I drank from a bloody cup. I assume this doesn't make a difference?

Thanks so much for all your advice doctor. I failed to mention how much less anxiety I've had since my first question some time ago.
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85 months ago
Or better yet, I just assume that any kind of contact with any potentially infected body fluids in the environment, even if they get in my mouth or any other avenue to my body (like my eyes or nose etc) are no risk. Is this right?
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
85 months ago
Correct, if you were to touch something contaminated with HIV positive blood and then put your fingers directly in your mouth, this would still not put you at meaningful risk and I would not recommend testing related to the event (although I am having a hard time imagining how this would happen!). Same for rubbing your eyes, picking your nose or similar contact.  You need to relax and stop worrying about such things- I do not know how to make it any clearer. 

This is my 3rd and therefore final response to your questions.  I trust you will not have further questions.  If you do, you will need to start a new question and appreciate that if the questions are deemed repetitive and anxiety-fueled, the question may be deleted without comment and without refund of your money.  This thread will be closed in a few hours.  EWH
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