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Followup to Socks and HIV Transmission

Question: 

Thanks for answering my question on August 20th (socks and HIV transmission risk), but I didn't receive an answer about bodily fluids with blood in them. If I was walking through my bathroom on my bathroom floor, pulled my socks off and scratched my scrotum without washing my hands, and those bodily fluids on the floor---wet or dried---were on my hands, and those fluids had blood present, would I be at risk of HIV transmission? I was told in the original message that HIV dies when exposed to air, but I wanted to make certain that applies in this scenario as well.

Answer: 

Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It sounds like you are still concerned about whether this scenario puts you at risk of acquiring HIV.

Once exposed to air, the HIV virus dies and is no longer transmissible regardless of the body fluids. One would be at No Risk of acquiring HIV from bodily fluids from the floor even if there was blood in them. Below is an HIV Transmission chart showing the necessary factors needed for successful HIV Transmission.

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 further information on HIV Transmission you can visit CDC HIV Transmission.

Regards,

Chris, Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
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