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How Much Saliva Is Needed To Transmit HIV?

How Much Saliva Is Needed To Transmit HIV?

One of the myths about HIV transmission is getting the infection through saliva by sharing glasses or casual kissing. But is this type of bodily fluid exchange really what spreads the disease and also, how much saliva is needed to transmit HIV?

As mentioned, this is only a myth. The risk of spreading HIV through kissing or sharing utensils where large amounts of saliva are involved and exchanged is quite low. There hasn’t been a case reported stating HIV acquisition where saliva is the leading cause of the transmission.

Oral secretions like saliva do not necessarily cause HIV infection. Whether deep or open-mouthed kissing, (behave yourselves), your chance of getting infected is low. Although HIV can be present in saliva, its amounts are very small, which can be insufficient to cause the infection.

The following are the common bodily fluids that HIV uses to transmit from one person to another:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Pre-seminal fluid
  • Breastmilk
  • Rectal fluids
  • Vaginal fluids


Which of the following body fluids does not transmit HIV?

Not all body fluids can transmit the human immunodeficiency virus. Consider the following list:

  • Saliva’s exchange through deep or open-mouthed kissing or sharing utensils like drinking glasses.
  • Physical contact with contaminated water, usually in toilet seats or used cups.
  • Direct contact with an infected individual’s tears or sweat
  • HIV bodily fluids that are already exposed to air and heat
  • Discharge from pets or insects that you suspect of having the virus (HIV transmission only occurs in humans)
  • Spit, urine, and feces

You cannot get HIV from touching an HIV-positive person. Transmission happens when you engage in unprotected sex, whether vaginal or anal. If you suspect being exposed to the virus, get yourself tested immediately to know your status and obtain immediate treatment if you receive a positive result.


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