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HIV from Toilet Paper?


About a week ago I was at a public toilet, and noticed some lint on my penis gland (i'm uncircumised) and i decided to use toilet paper that was next to the toilet to wipe it off from my penis glands (so near the urethra). I didn't think much of it but the toilet paper was used (it was a bit wet). Is there an HIV risk from this? If so, when should I get tested?


Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question you were asking about the possibility of HIV transmission through wiping wet toilet paper on the head of your penis.

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

Dry or drying HIV positive fluid undergoes a rapid reduction in concentration when exposed to the environment. HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces) and it cannot reproduce outside of the human host (1).

For these reasons, any HIV positive fluid that had been on the toilet paper before you would be of no risk to you.

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

All the best,

AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, Cody