Anonymous
Hello,

Firstly I would like to say this website and those who contribute to it are amazing for providing such helpful information.

That being said, I was recently on a public bus and after getting up from my seat I noticed what looked like semen. Assuming it was and wasn't dry and got on my pants, should I be tested?

Shortly after leaving the bus I got into my car, but am now worried if the virus could be transferred from my pants to the seat of my car and then to the next person who sits in my car or wherever else they sit after. I've read the virus doesn't live on inanimate objects, so I'm fairly certain I know the answer to this, but asking would certainly ease my mind.
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Anonymous
Hi there, thank you for your question to our helpline forum,

You have a common question about transmission of HIV and I hope I am able to provide you with a clear answer .

For a risk to exist, HIV+ fluids must come into direct contact with the bloodstream. So if the semen on the bus seat was HIV+ and got on your pants, there is no way it could have entered your bloodstream, so you are at no risk and do not need to be tested.

Also I want to add that once the HIV+ fluid is exposed to air, the virus is no longer active and no longer able to transmit. So if you think the virus got transferred from your pants to the seat it would have been exposed to air, and no one is able to acquire HIV from this fluid.

Take a look at this chart, it is the HIV transmission equation and describes how one can potentially acquire HIV.

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION


BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection  
Also, feel free to visit our website with much more information on HIV and AIDS (like about transmission and testing). Also, if you have any questions and are living in the BC area feel free to give our helpline a call.

Thank you again for your question!

Jasmine

Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (PST)

604 253 0566 Ext. 299

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION