Anonymous
Hi I am jewish and it's a tradition for me to emerge in a ritual bath. These baths don't have chlorine it's just rain water. A lot of people go dip into this bath. My question here is if the person who dipped into this bath before me has hiv and I go in right after with cuts can I get hiv from the water?
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Anonymous
Hi there,
Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for HIV/AIDS related information.

To answer your question, no, you have no risk of transmitting HIV. Let me explain why.
HIV is a very weak virus and dies when exposed to oxygen, and also cannot survive in water. For this reason, based on what you've described, you are not at risk. For HIV transmission to occur, there needs to be direct contact of HIV positive fluids (semen, blood, vaginal or anal secretions) with the bloodstream of an HIV negative individual. This mainly happens through unprotected sexual intercourse and needle sharing, none of which have happened in the situation you have described.

However, we do suggest that everyone get tested regularly for all STIs including HIV, as part of their regular healthcare maintenance.

I trust that I have addressed your concerns. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again, or to visit our website for more information on this topic.

Thank you,

Sandra, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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