[Question #2794] About HIV transmission (part 2)

40 months ago
Dear Doctor, 

Thank you so, so much for answering my previous question about HIV transmission. I thought I should pay for a new question instead of constinuing with the old one. You made it perfectly clear as to why there are those 5% and about the amount of virus needed to infect. You have mentioned that the chances are remote to get infected from a single encounter of, for example, food being pre-chewed by a mother and fed to a baby. It is like taking 1000 cards, mark one of them with a cross and see what your chances are of picking the "crossed one" out of the 1000. Of course you may get it on a 100th try, 1000th...or you may pick the right card, unfortunately, from your very first try. Hence, one can be just unlucky. What helps me, however, is to understand the science behind survival of the virus. In the case with HIV being in the frozen yogurt after it got there somehow during the manufacturing process, would you agree that even if that would happen the environment would be too hostile for it to survive and it would most likely die very soon? Even if the temperature drops. I know there were no scientific experiments done to recreate this type of scenario (that would be money "well spent" haha) ,but you know how this virus operates, so in your opinion would it be dead by the time it gets into my spoon? Thank you again for your time and explaination. It helped me a lot. 
Olga
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
Welcome back to our Forum.  While I'll be happy to address this question, there was really no reason for you to start a new question.  We are accustomed to follow-up questions and welcome up to two follow-up (three total) questions per client.  I have also read Dr. Handsfield's reply to you moments ago and agree with all that he said- each of the situations you describe is not a plausible mechanism for acquiring HIV and NONE of them has EVER been described as a proven route of HIV acquisition- you are not going to be the first.

Adding to his earlier comment, I would point out that he HIV virus, like all STI pathogens is a biologically fragile organism which survives best at the temperature of the human body and when it is exposed to lower temperatures (like room temperature and even more so for refrigerated temperatures such as you find with frozen yogurt) becomes non-infectious and dies almost immediately. Thus, in the unlikely situation that HIV might be introduced into frozen yogurt, at the time of that introduction the virus would die and  become non-infectious. 

Please don't worry about any of the circumstances you have described.  EWH
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40 months ago
Thank you very much to both of you. Glad to have found this forum