[Question #6223] Recent diagnosis in the family

16 months ago
Good morning, my significant other’s sibling has been recently diagnosed as HIV positive. As you can tell from my previous questions I am quite OCD about this virus so I just wanted to confirm with you what precautions are necessary for me and my significant other while interacting with our family member.

I understand there is no risk from sharing utensils and hookah tips, even if there is a tiny amount of saliva with blood from him and we have cracked lips. We do smoke quite often together and occasionally sip from the same glass or taste each other’s food using their chopsticks. Is this accurate?

The sibling does have a preponderance to launch small spit droplets when he speaks and sometimes I feel these spit droplets on my skin or in my eye. Any risk there? I do occasionally bleed from my gums for no reason, so just wondering if there is a tiny amount of blood in his spit droplet landing in my eye, would I need yo protect myself?

I know you told last time what are the mechanisms of transmission and to not worry about any other what ifs, but this is a new event in our lives and we’d like to cope better with adjusting to it, as well as not make him awkward nor uncomfortable while going through a rough patch in his life.

Much appreciated your input.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
16 months ago

Welcome back to the Forum.  I will provide a brief response to your question despite the fact that I agree with Dr. Handsfield that repeat questions would be closed without a  response.  I chose to answer your question because I do understand that when a family member or a loved one's family member is diagnosed with HIV it can raise concerns despite the FACT that there is no scientific basis for those concerns.  HIV is NOT a familial disease.  Factors contributing to HIV transmission have been reviewed for you on several occasions and will not be repeated.  Sharing a hookah or talking to someone whose speech sometimes involves exposure to aerosolized spittle is NOT a risk factor for HIV or other STI.  Neither is living in the same home.  The presence of gum disease does not change this.

This will be the only reply to this thread which will now be closed.  There is no reason for concern.  EWH

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