After I delivered the baby four months ago, I suddenly started to suffer from OCD-contamination, especially HIV due to some bad experiences while using the public toilet at my school. I know there were several post about toilet-related questions but I'd really appreciate the doctor could review my questions and answered all of them at one time. Please give some help to a worrisome, anxious, tired new mom. Here are some episodes trigger my deep fear of HIV infection:

Episode 1. Horrible backsplash happened during bowl movement with the bleeding hemorrhoids. The laceration repair has been healed but left an external hemorrhoids like polyps that iwas also bleeding a little bit during that backsplash. I was so scared and did the test after three months that is negative.

Episode 2: Tiny backsplash still would like to happen sometimes while I pee after the test. Am I at risk?

Episode 3: I noticed some suspicious dry blood on the toilet seat before using the toilet. I wiped it with a partially damp paper towel (I washed my hand before using the toilet and the dry the hand with paper towel). The paper towel turns a little bit red and I realized that might be blood so I gave up using that toilet. However, I forgot whether I washed my hand after that wiping action before I used the new paper to wipe my annal area after bowl movement. Although my hemorrhoids is not bleeding during that bowl movement, it was bleeding one day before and I also have a minor annal fissure. So, what if the blood diffuse through the damp paper towel and touch my finger, my finger touch new paper and then my annal fissure and hemorrhoids. Was I be on risk? Later I was sure that I washed my hand, although there is no cut on my hand that wiped the toilet seat, there is a cut on my another hand. My two hands rubbed each other while washing. Is there any risk? I touched my lips where there is a cut and eyes after washing my hand with soap, will I be on risk?

Due to those things, I am too afraid to use public toilet...

Thank you for your patience to read my long questions.



Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission given the events that toilet backsplash had occurred into an open or bleeding wound. You were further asking about the possibility of contact with dry blood on a public toilet, and the HIV risk associated with this.

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (Transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario's). Each of the scenarios you have provided are of No Risk to you because they do not satisfy our HIV Transmission Equation. The equation is not met because there is no direct access to the bloodstream through a High, Low, or Negligible Risk event.

Coming into contact with HIV positive fluid that has been exposed to the environment does not pose a threat for HIV transmission. Dry or drying blood or other fluids in the environment undergo a rapid reduction in HIV concentration, making it extremely difficult to transmit the virus (1).

For these reasons, when it comes to HIV transmission, you should not worry about the use of public toilets.

Recommendation: No need for further HIV testing, please ask health care provider for additional health related questions.

All the best,

AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, Cody



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