« Go Back

HIV transmission through public transport

Question: 

Hello,
A few weeks ago I was having protected sex with my boyfriend. The condom slipped off and we stopped after that. I went home by train and there I touched bars, seats and buttons and from the train to home I took a 10-15 minutes walk. Before taking a shower I wanted to check if the condom wasn't stuck in my vagina, however before checking I forgot to wash my hands. My question is can I get HIV like this? I don't remember seeing any bodily fluids on the train, if there were any it was probably dry but I'm still a bit concerned.

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for your inquiry.

We gather that you are asking about the possibility of acquiring HIV from touching public surfaces and then touching your vagina. This scenario is considered to be no risk for HIV transmission.

In order to contract HIV the following conditions must be met:

  • There must be HIV present in a bodily fluid. The five bodily fluids that carry the HIV virus include: blood, semen (including pre-ejaculate), vaginal fluids, breast milk, and rectal secretions.

  • The bodily fluid containing HIV must have direct access to the bloodstream. This can be through cuts, tears, rips, mucous membranes, open sores, or needles.

  • Transmission occurs through a risky activity in which the first two conditions are met. For example: condom less sex, sharing needles, unsafe tattoos or piercings, vertical transmission–from mother to child (in utero, during delivery, breastfeeding)

Consider the following quote from the CDC "HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside a human host."

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