carlk
hi i live in a pretty sketchy apartment and am planning on moving out soon. When i was working at my desk, a mysterious liquid started dripping down from the ceiling, onto my crotch area. I assumed that it was water so I went to bed shortly after without thinking, crotch still wet. Now I am paranoid what if the liquid was hiv positive body fluid. If it was, am I at risk of contracting hiv??????
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helpline-volunteer
Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of HIV transmission through an unknown fluid that presumably dripped onto the pants you were wearing, near your crotch area. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

The reason why there is not a risk of HIV transmission associated with this scenario is due to the fact that it is extremely unlikely for there to be fresh bodily fluid (such as blood) dripping from a ceiling in a residential setting. Furthermore, when HIV outside of the body (contained in a body fluid like blood) is exposed to oxygen, this causes a rapid reduction in HIV concentration (1). From the CDC, HIV outside of the body that is drying on a surface, has a rapid (within several hours) reduction in HIV concentration of 90-99% (1). 

It is also important to recognize that according to the HIV Transmission Equation (see image below), HIV transmission requires a bodily fluid (e.g. blood) that has direct access to the bloodstream (e.g. via open cuts and sores, sexual organs, mucosal membranes, etc.) through an High/Low/Negligible activity. I am assuming you were wearing pants, boxers, etc. while you were working at your desk, and therefore this would have allowed a significant barrier to your bloodstream.

Recommendation: No need for an HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a healthcare professional for other health-related questions.

Take care,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Shirley

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Helpline Transmission Equation  (1).jpg
Additional Resources:
1) HIV Environmental Exposure
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