ArticlesHuman Bites and the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus TransmissionPretty, Iain A. B.D.S.; Anderson, Gail S. Ph.D.; Sweet, David J. D.M.D, Ph.D.Author Information From the Bureau of Legal Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (I.A.P., D.J.S.); and School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby (G.S.A.), British Columbia, Canada. Manuscript received February 25, 1999; accepted May 22, 1999. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Iain A. Pretty, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral Medical and Surgical Sciences, 2199 Westbrook Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 1999 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - p 232-239 Buy Abstract The risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission following a bite injury is important to many groups of people. The first are those who are likely to be bitten as an occupational risk, such as police officers and institutional staff. Another group are represented by the victims and perpetrators of crimes involving biting, both in attack and defense situations. The possibility of these bites transmitting a potentially fatal disease is of interest to the physicians who treat such patients and the legal system which may have to deal with the repercussions of such a transmission. Bite injuries represent 1% of all emergency department admissions in the United States, and human bites are the third most common following those of dogs and cats. The worldwide epidemic of HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues, with >5 million new cases last year and affecting 1 in 100 sexually active adults. A review of the literature concerning human bites, HIV and AIDS, HIV in saliva, and case examples was performed to examine the current opinion regarding the transmission of HIV via this route. A bite from an HIV-seropositive individual that breaks the skin or is associated with a previous injury carries a risk of infection for the bitten individual. © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.