CDC researchers have reported three cases where kids were apparently infected with HIV through food fed to them after it had first been chewed by someone else. Three. Out of over 60 million infections worldwide.
In order to be consistent with my earlier stand on the risks of transmitting HIV while on ARVs, I’m going to have to say that we should tell HIV-infected mothers (and fathers, and aunts, and nannies) that if they have bleeding gums or mouth sores, they shouldn’t use their mouths as a blender for their infant’s food. But of course this is going to go round the web (as in here and here and here and here), and eventually get turned in to “HIV can be transmitted through saliva”. NOT what the researchers are saying (note the bleeding gums proviso), but distracting none the less. UNAIDS will issue statements, there will be consultations, discussions and more research. And all of those things will distract time and attention from the dirty needles, untreated STIs and unprotected anal sex that have contributed stratospherically more than three infections in 15 years, and that continue to do so.