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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can HIV be contracted from biting someone on the clothing?

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Dr. Monika Dede

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 866 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 17 Mar 2017 in HIV and AIDS
Question: I guess I am being overly worried about things.

My son bit someone on the arm, they had a long sleeved shirt on. However apparently they had a scabbed over scratch under the shirt. I guess he bit him right on the scratch. Is there a risk for any blood borne disease

1. I would assume that the shirt would protect my son from any contact with the scab or dried blood.Becuase dry stuff cant soak thr/ a shirt

2. I have read that HIV and other blood borne pathogens cannot penetrate clothes.

3. There was no fresh blood present and nothing on the outside of the shirt. So since it was dry I assume everything in it is dead

I assume since the wound was covered by the shirt, dry and old there is no way my son could have got HIV, Zika or any other blood borne disease from biting someone outside the shirt.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Hello XXXX ! Ι have been through your question.

Detailed Answer:
You have right, your assumption is true.
I think that is a good news that wound was covered by the shirt and there wasn't any direct blood contact. You should know that you couldn't get infected by HIV, Zika virus or other blood burn infections not only from the shirt as barrier but even when someone has a direct contact of a not damaged skin with infected blood. The risk of infection exist when has a contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and (HIV,Zika and other) -infected blood or blood-contaminated body fluids.

I hope my answer help you.If you have any further questions I will be happy to help you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Monika Dede 30 minutes later
So when he bit him the shirt would be a sufficient barrier, I understand that non damaged skin is also a barrier my concern was my sons mouth made contact (when he bit him) with the shirt as a barrier. I didn't see any cuts or scrapes in my sons mouth.

Also I assume any blood borne pathogen wouldn't transmit in a dry form
doctor
Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 26 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes of course the shirt is a sufficient barrier.

Detailed Answer:
In extremely rare cases, HIV has been transmitted by being bitten by a person with HIV and very small number of documented cases has involved severe trauma with extensive tissue damage and the presence of blood.
So, you don't worry because the blood borne pathogen couldn't be transmit through the shirt and by contact with small quantities of dried blood, (because HIV and other pathogens will not be present in sufficient quantity) and for more if don't have cuts (blood contact) in your sons mouth.

I hope my answer help you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Monika Dede 32 minutes later
So nothing to worry about (my son was the biter)

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes, nothing to worry.

Detailed Answer:
I mentioned above as rare case known that has been transmitted HIV by being bitten by a person with HIV and not related with your son case.
I emphasized that you have 3 strong points to believe that there not exist any risk of blood burn infections: the shirt as a barrier, no cuts in your sons mouth and dry blood, so the result not blood or other fluids infected contacts.

I hope have been answered your question.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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