Anonymous
Hi! If I wash a new tattoo with a bar of soap that may have been used by someone with HIV (so may have had blood or other bodily fluids on it) am I at risk for contracting HIV?
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helpline-volunteer
Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from your question, you are asking about the possibility of HIV transmission from using a bar of soap that may have come in contact with HIV positive fluid. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk

In order for transmission to occur, a number of requirements must be met (see below). 

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HIV transmission requires the presence of HIV positive fluid (such as semen, vaginal fluid, pre-cum, rectal fluid, breastmilk, etc), coupled with a High, Low, or Negligible Risk activity, that provides the virus with direct access to the bloodstream.

The activity you described above is of No Risk
 because "HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside a human host" (1). Due to exposure to oxygen, HIV undergoes a rapid reduction in concentration. Therefore, in the event that the soap did come in contact with bodily fluid, the exposure to oxygen means there is No Risk of transmission from this activity.

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

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Ashley 

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Additional resources:
HIV inactive CDC (1)
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