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Sex Toys

Question: 

Ok it is noted HIV does not survive long outside the body. It is also noted you can not transmit off of surfaces. Then why is the rule seem different for sex toys?

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV acquisition in regard to sex toys. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be Low Risk (Evidence of transmission occurs through these activities when certain conditions are met).

HIV transmission occurs when bodily fluid that contains HIV has direct access to the bloodstream through a high risk activity. The following are a few theoretical scenarios that present different levels of risk when it comes to the sharing of sex toys:

The topic of sex toys presents with different risk levels depending on how you prepare your sex toys. If you are using a shared sex toy without properly cleaning them, this is a Low Risk. This is a Low Risk due to sex toy having the ability to store fluids and inserting from one person to another gives the opportunity for transferring fluid with direct access to the bloodstream.

If you are sharing sex toys with the use of a condom, this act would be considered a Negligible Risk due to the possibility of improper usage or breakage of the condom.

If you are not sharing your sex toy, and only using it on yourself, this is a No Risk activity as there are no opportunities for an exchange of bodily fluid from another person.

It is recommended to avoid sharing sex toys and if you do to cover the toy wit ha new condom before each use (1). It is also important to clean your toys between vaginal and anal use (1).

Recommendation: Refer to Physician for HIV test.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle