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Does living with a HIV patient transmit the virus in anyway?

Q: I want to clarify the following: 1. Can the wet spoon/bowls used by a HIV positive person be mixed with the other utensils? Also, if not washed properly, is there a risk of transmission? 2. Can the kids and other family members share the same bed and sleep without risk of transmission? Are the clothes good enough barrier to eliminate risk of transmission? 3. Can the clothes of a HIV patient be washed along with others? Is it a must to wash the HIV patients clothes like shirt, trouser, towel daily separately or can they be washed together with others? 4. In summers, there is a lot of sweat. If the kids touch him with bare hands, is there any risk of transmission? 5. If after about a week of exposure, the results are non reactive, is it a must to recheck after 3 months even if one feels ok? I will be grateful if you could please send detailed replies to clarify all my doubts once for all.

A:The amount of HIV virus found in different body fluids varies even in the same HIV infected person. Semen and vaginal fluids have high concentrations, higher than blood while other fluids such as saliva and perspiration have much lower amounts of the virus in them. Different parts of the body also have varying ability to resist the entry of HIV the virus that causes AIDS. Intact skin can not be penetrated by HIV while mucous membranes, especially when inflamed, are easily penetrated. It is also important to know that the HIV is a very fragile virus outside the body and soon dies as it is exposed to air and the fluid dries. For these reasons it is generally held that HIV can not be transmitted via utensils, clothing or even social contact. Utensils, bed linen and clothes of HIV positive persons can be washed together with other household items. The usual HIV test is based on antibodies, In other words these tests can only give a positive result when the body has had a sufficient time to produce enough antibodies to react with the test. Therefore a negative report for a test done a week after exposure is not likely to give a dependable report. This is the so called window period when the person is infected and highly infectious through blood and unprotected sex but gives a negative test result. A test after 3 months and perhaps after 6 months is essential. Incidentally even if the test gives a positive or reactive report it must not be depended upon and can only be depended upon after a retest gives the same result.


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