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Though it’s not impossible, the short answer is no, and your child probably has a higher chance of being struck by an asteroid than they do of contracting HIV from a classmate at school.

At last check, no cases of HIV/AIDS were ever known or suspected to have been transmitted from one child to another in a school, day care, or foster care setting. (Health Information Network, 1987) Our organization has yet to encounter an incident in which this is even alleged to have happened, and we monitor both news outlets around the country as well as medical journals on a regular basis.

In order for a child to be infected with HIV, they would somehow have to get the other child’s blood or HIV-carrying bodily fluids into their own body. This is nearly impossible to do under normal circumstances. HIV cannot be transferred by saliva. If both children have cuts and put their bloody arms together, the flow of your child’s blood flowing out is going to make it hard for HIV-infected blood to flow in, even if they tried their hardest to accomplish this feat by becoming “blood brothers” or something along those lines.

Furthermore, though HIV gets its reputation for being a highly communicable disease, it’s generally not quite as contagious as people assume it to be. There are cases in which adult partners have had regular, unprotected intercourse for a year or more before one found out they had AIDS, yet the other partner can still be HIV negative. This is not something we would suggest trying, but it illustrates that the virus isn’t some all-powerful bug that leaps upon contact.

Most of all, any child at school with HIV (at least in a developed country) is going to be on a cocktail of antiviral’s to keep their pathogen count down, which further decreases the odds of transmission, even if somehow your child did end up through some freak accident getting some of the other child’s blood into their own bloodstream. While there is no cure as of yet for HIV-AIDS, antivirals can essentially keep the pathogen count so low that it’s almost invisible throughout their system, and therefore hard to pass on to others.

So you should treat a child with HIV just like you would treat any other child, and not worry about any HIV-infected kids who may be at school.

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