Anonymous
Hi, I work in a clinical laboratory. Last week, when I'm going to brush my teeth, my toothbrush fell into the laboratory sink. I took it right away and wash with running water and dipped in hot water too before I used it again to brushed my teeth. I'm worried because we used to throw blood and urines in that sink. Can I get HIV from that? I can barely sleep for the past few days because of this. Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions! We're happy to help.

To answer your question, no, this is not a method of transmission for HIV, and is considered a no risk situation. HIV is a very delicate virus, and cannot survive for long outside of the human body. Once is it exposed to the air, the virus becomes damaged and is no longer able to transmit. Thus, any bodily fluid sitting in the sink would have already been exposed to the air, and thus would not be able to transmit.

I have included the AIDS Vancouver transmission equation to help further your understanding:

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  

As you can see, all three factors (body fluid, activity, direct access to the bloodstream) must be present in order for there to be a risk of HIV transmission.

I hope I was able to answer your question, and feel free to contact us with any further concerns.

Regards,

Sierra, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION