HIV does not transmit through spitting, and the risk of contracting the virus through a bite is negligible, aidsmap reports.
Publishing their findings in HIV Medicine, researchers conducted a meta-analysis and systematic review of reports of transmission of the virus through spitting or biting. They reviewed 742 abstracts and came up with 32 articles as well as 12 case reports for their analysis.
There were no reports of HIV transmission through spitting and 11 cases of transmission following a bite. Six of the bite-transmission cases occurred among family members, three in fights with serious wounds, and two among first-aid workers who put fingers in the mouth of an individual having a seizure. In only four of these cases was the transmission confirmed or highly plausible to have occurred through biting.
The study authors concluded that post-exposure prophylaxis is not necessary after an HIV-positive individual bites someone in all but exceptional circumstances. “Policies to protect emergency workers should be developed with this evidence in mind,” they wrote.
To read the aidsmap article, click here.
To read the study abstract, click here.