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Casual Contact with Toilets

Question: 

today I used a toilet to have a number two but before that I lock the door. And with the same hand I grabbed toilet paper to wipe my bum am I at risk of hiv or other infectious diseases

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about acquiring HIV from casual contact with a doorknob in a bathroom facility. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the transmission equation. The three components include the exchange of bodily fluid that contains HIV with direct access to the bloodstream through a high risk activity (1).

The five bodily fluids that carry the HIV virus include: blood, semen (including pre-ejaculate), vaginal fluids, breast milk, and rectal secretions (1).

Direct access to the bloodstream can be through cuts, tears, rips, mucous membranes, open sores, or needles (1). High risk activity includes: unprotected sex, sharing needles, unsafe tattoos or piercings, vertical transmission–from mother to child (in utero, during delivery, breastfeeding) (1).

In this scenario casual contact with a surface would not satisfy the transmission equation. There may have been contact with bodily fluid on the doorknob, but there was no direct access to the bloodstream or high risk activity.

HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside a human host (2). Casual contact such as sharing toilets, drinks, or food, hugging, and shaking hands do not satisfy the transmission equation. Therefore these casual interactions will not permit an opportunity for HIV transmission.

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

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Danielle