[Question #4362] Hiv - non-sexual transmission

30 months ago
Hello,

I was walking my dog and I noticed he ate some feces from between two bushes. After looking, I saw it was rather a large puddle and it was hidden between bushes, so it could have been a homeless person that took that dump there.I live in an area where there are homeless people that do drugs and could have HIV.

I took the dog home and washed his mouth with some mouthwash and he vomited the feces in my bath tub. ( i did not touch the feces at any point with my barehands). After cleaning him i tried opening his mouth to inspect it and he got impatient and bit my hand a little, which resulted in no bleeding or deep wound, just a tiny red spot on my skin. Is HIV testing needed in this case? 
I am thinking if there was blood in the feces and infected with HIV and then my dog bit my hand, could there be a risk?

There was no bleeding from the red spot I had on my hand, but I am OCD about HIV and I have a girlfriend (we don;t use condoms). Please advise

I am a bit worried because I found this article online about a possible hiv transmission case through a dog bite in Swaziland:  https://phcfm.org/index.php/phcfm/article/view/440

Thank you for your attention.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
30 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

There is absolutely no risk of HIV in this situation. First, the odds the feces came from an HIV infected person are low. (HIV is little or no more common in homeless than non-homeless populations.) Second, HIV is not believed to be transmitted via feces, even in persons who have direct oral exposure to the feces of HIV infected persons (e.g. by analingus, oral-anal sexual contact). Third, even if that were possible, there is no way enough virus would survive in the dog's mouth to later transmit to a human by biting, licking, etc. Finally, a bite that doesn't break the skin, leaving only a red spot, is not risky for HIV. (Same for sharp instrument injuries that don't bleed.)

The article you cite is scientifically questionable. For example, nothing is said about the second guard's sexual or other risks, aside from the dog situation. Second, even if rapid biting in succession might transmit infection, by transfer of HIV infected blood by the dog's mouth or teeth immediately after the first bite, that's obviously a very different scenario than the dog eating feces and then nipping someone several minutes later.

All these comments apply equally to all other STDs as well as HIV.

So my advice is to not worry at all about this situation, do not get tested, and continue your normal sexual relations with your partner.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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30 months ago
Thank you very much for your detailed response, dr Handsfield, this is very informative and reassuring. Have a great evening!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
30 months ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.---
30 months ago
One last question Dr Handsfield. For the HIV antibody test, Is there any difference between the 12 weeks(84 days) and the 3 months (90 days)  or just semantics? After a conversation yesterday, My gf told me she got tested at 12 weeks and 2-3 days since her last sexual partner when we started dating, should she have waited for 90 days or anything past 12 weeks is conclusive? 
Thanks again flr the time and advice.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
30 months ago
There is no significant difference in antibody test reliability at 84 vs 90 days. But these days most labs routinely use an antigen-antibody (Ag-Ab, 4th generation, duo, combo) tests. For these, anything over 6 weeks is conclusive, with no need to wait 12-13 weeks, so there cannot be any difference between 84 and 90 days.

Thanks again for nice comments about our services. Best wishes.
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