Anonymous
I am a teenager and went to use a toilet in a mall to pee, did a little shopping and eventually took a cab.When I got home, I completely forgot to wash my hands and just ate a banana and an apple with my bare hands.I mean, if I have touched HIV from the toilet, stores and in the cab, is it possible that I actually transferred the virus in my mouth because of the contact with my unwashed hands.The thing was, I have a healing mouth sore just near the lips and my hands could have touched it. Is this a risk?In addition, I also picked my nose because I seemed to have a pimple in there and also rubbed my eyes. I usually wash my hands before eating or touching anything in my face but this time, I just forgot.I read in the internet that it is possible to get HIV through mouth, eyes and nose because these are mucosa.Is this event a risk for HIV transmission on me? Thank you for the answers.
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Anonymous
Hi there, thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver helpline with your questions!

I understand this must be a concerning situation, but this is a No Risk situation for a couple different reasons.

1) Primarily, HIV is a delicate virus that cannot survive upon exposure to the outside environment. When the bodily fluids leave the body and are in the general environment, the virus becomes damaged and inactivated and it can no longer be passed on. This eliminates any risk from acquiring HIV from inanimate surfaces or objects (toilet, stores, cab, etc.)

2) Your pimple/mouth sore would not provide direct access to the blood stream because in order for a wound to do so, it needs to be severe such as one requiring immediate medical attention such as stitches.

3) Your mouth provides further protection with an enzyme in the saliva that breaks down viruses.

4) The mucous membranes known to transmit HIV are those in the vagina, anus, and urethra of the penis, not the eye mouth or nose.

I hope this helped! Please check out this transmission equation:

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
And this website; http://www.avert.org/hiv-transmission-prevention/how-you-get-hiv

Sincerely,

Christina

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (PST)

helpline@aidsvancouver.org

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