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Chaffing and Dirty Toilet Seats

Question: 

Hello,
About a week ago I went out to a LGBT dance event. I was pretty drunk and decided to go to the bathroom. I usually squat and try to avoid sitting on the toilet seat before I go, but this night I was too drunk to do that. I also do not remember how the toilet seat looked (if it was wet, dirty, etc.). I had pretty bad chafing on my thighs from all the dancing and sat down on the toilet like that. Do I pose any risk in getting HIV or any other STI? I'm going in for my regular testing in less than a week, is it too early to detect HIV or STI's?
Thank you so much!

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline!

It sounds like you have some concerns in regard to your likelihood of acquiring HIV.

First off, it is great that you pursue regular testing as it is a great way to stay up to date on your current status!

From what you have told me, you were at a LGBT dance event and became concerned about the likelihood of acquiring HIV due to a bad chafing on your thighs making contact with the toilet seat. For there to be a risk of acquiring HIV there needs to be a body fluid, an activity such as unprotected anal and vaginal intercourse and a direct access for the virus to enter the bloodstream. Furthermore, HIV is extremely fragile to the point that once it is exposed to air it is no longer transmissible. Thus, it is because of this fragility that one is unable to acquire HIV from inanimate objects, which means that you would be at No Risk of acquiring HIV from the described scenario.

When it comes to HIV testing early testing is reliable, but it is not completely conclusive. While in your situation it is not necessary to pursue HIV testing, if you were to pursue HIV testing in the future also pursue HIV testing at 90 days post-exposure as all HIV tests at this time generate completely conclusive results.

Below I have attached a copy of the HIV Transmission Equation Chart as it goes into greater detail on the factors that are necessary to be at risk of acquiring HIV.

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION

BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection

= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION

For more information about HIV you can visit HIV and AIDS Basics.

Regards,

Chris, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org