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In 1997, CDC published findings from a state health department investigation of an incident that suggested blood-to-blood transmission of HIV by a human bite. There have been other reports in the medical literature in which HIV appeared to have been transmitted by a bite. Severe trauma with extensive tissue tearing and damage and presence of blood were reported in each of these instances. Biting is not a common way of transmitting HIV. In fact, there are numerous reports of bites that did not result in HIV infection.
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Visit our page about how HIV is transmitted for more information.
Find information about HIV transmission in the environment on our HIV is Not Easily Transmitted in the Environment page.
Although HIV has been transmitted between family members in a household setting, this type of transmission is very rare. Find more information about this on our HIV Transmission in Households page.
There is no known risk of HIV transmission to co-workers, clients or consumers from contact in industries such as food-service establishments. Find more information about this on the HIV Transmission in Businesses and Other Settings page.
Casual contact through closed-mouth or "social" kissing is not a risk for transmission of HIV. Because of the potential for contact with blood during "French" or open-mouth kissing, CDC recommends against engaging in this activity with a person known to be infected. However, the risk of acquiring HIV during open-mouth kissing is believed to be very low. CDC has investigated only one case of HIV infection that may be attributed to contact with blood during open-mouth kissing.
HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients. It is important to understand that finding a small amount of HIV in a body fluid does not necessarily mean that HIV can be transmitted by that body fluid. HIV has not been recovered from the sweat of HIV-infected persons. Contact with saliva, tears or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.
Find information about this on our Insects and HIV page.
Find information about this on our Condom Effectiveness page.