HIV transmission by human bite: a case report and review of the literature-implications for post-exposure prophylaxis

Infection. 2020 Dec;48(6):949-954. doi: 10.1007/s15010-020-01477-6. Epub 2020 Jul 26.


We report a case of a probable HIV-1 transmission by human bite. The analyzed data from ten previously reported suspected or allegedly confirmed HIV transmissions revealed a deep bleeding bite wound as the primary risk factor. A high HIV plasma viral load and bleeding oral lesions are present most of the time during HIV transmission by bite. HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) should be recommended in case of a bleeding wound resulting from a bite of an HIV-infected person. PEP was missed in this presented case.

Keywords: HIV transmission; Human bite; Human immunodeficiency virus; Post-exposure prophylaxis; Route of transmission.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Berlin
  • Bites, Human / complications*
  • Germany
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors