[Question #2831] Concern about Purchased Bottled Water Cracked Cap

42 months ago

Hello Drs,


I wanted to run a question by you and perhaps get some reassurance.  I live in Washington, D.C. and last evening I bought a bottle of water and opened the water and drank from it.  I drank from it again when I got home and as I was closing the bottle I noticed a long split in the plastic bottle cap on the side of the cap but horizontally near the top, so the top lifts up a bit along the split if that makes sense (the split is almost half of the circumference of the cap). When I lift the cap at the part that split it seems there could be a little access to the inside of the bottle. I’m not sure if it was like this before I purchased the bottle or if it was a defective cap.  I am mainly concerned if someone might have contaminated the bottle and about any risk of HIV transmission if someone contaminated the bottle with saliva or blood from a person with HIV.  The bottle of water was in a fridge when I bought it. I am also unsure if a bottle of water would be considered an airtight container so if HIV could survive in it?  I also was wondering if there could be any risk of hepatitis B or C transmission  (I am immunized to B).  I might have minor cuts in my mouth but I am not sure.  Thank you so much for your help and time.

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
42 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

There has never been a known case of HIV acquired from contaminated water or food. Certainly there is no risk from commercial bottled water, regardless of potential leaks in the cap or seal. (Such leaks in theory might increase the risk of certain bacterial infections, but not HIV or other blood borne viruses.) It doesn't matter whether HIV can survive in water. It almost certainly couldn't have gotten into the water in teh firs place. Cuts in the mouth would make no difference.

Have only safe sex and do not share drug injection equipment, and you will not be at risk of HIV. No worries at all!

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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