« Go Back

Can HIV be transmitted from a towel this way?

Question: 

I went to the gym and placed my towel on the benches at the gym throughout my workout. When i got home i hung my towel without washing it and 3 days laters i touched it then proceeded to touch my buttcrack (Ass)without washing my hands. I know it might sounds like a dumb question but i'm abit of a paranoid person. Can HIV be transmitted this way?

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about acquiring HIV through contact with a dirty towel. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

HIV transmission occurs when bodily fluid containing HIV has direct access to the bloodstream of an individual through a high risk activity.

It is important to note that HIV is not carried through saliva or sweat. The bodily fluids that carry HIV include: blood, semen (including pre-ejaculate), vaginal fluids, breast milk, and rectal secretions (1).

HIV becomes quickly inactive with it is exposed to the environment (2). Therefore if there was a bodily fluid on the towel; 3 days of exposure to the environment would definitely render any bodily fluid impossible for transmission (2).

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle