Anonymous
Hello,

So I am pregnant and my OCD has peaked big time. Yesterday I was in a rush to use the restroom and then noticed when I got up that there was blood on the rim of the toilet bowl (top part). Since the toilet seat is one that splits and doesn't completely close like a circle, I am worried that my vagina brushed up against the blood and somehow got inside. I keep reading conflicting information stating that blood can live on surfaces like countertops and toilets for several days and then information that says it's not possible. I don't know what's true and what's not and it worries me. Would someone be able to offer me some honest and true information?
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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about whether or not you could have acquired HIV from blood on a public seat bathroom. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No risk Transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

Please consider the following quote from CDC: "HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside a human host” (1).
When blood comes in contact with the air (oxygen), it quickly renders the HIV inactive. This means that the blood on the toilet seat would have contained inactive HIV, and thus, there is no chance you could have acquired HIV.

Further, it is worth noting that you cannot acquire HIV if there is no exchange of bodily fluid, with *direct access to the bloodstream* (2).

This includes things like
-Kissing (with no blood present)
-Using sex toys that are not shared
-Non-insertive masturbation
-Contact with urine or feces
-Injection using new and/or unshared needles, syringes and drug equipment
-Snorting or smoking drugs using new and/or unshared straws or pipes
-Hugging, touching, shaking hands
-Sharing food, drinks, utensils or dishes
-Sharing linens, towels or clothing
-Coughing or sneezing
-Swimming pools or bath water
-Insects or animals

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, Heidi


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