Anonymous
Good that I happened to browse your site.I myself travelled overseas recently and stayed in back pack hotel for a couple of days.Basically, I shared a toilet with six other tourists which I do not know.One time, I woke up a little late so I was the only one left in the room.I first defecated and then flushed the toilet in its handle.After a couple of minute, I proceeded to shower and clean my penis.I just then remembered that I did not wash my hands with soap and water before cleaning my penis.I do not want to be paranoid about things but if someone HIV positive among other tourists in our room and perhaps left some fluid or say masturbated and left some semen in the handle and then I touched it and eventually touched my penis, will this lead to transfer of HIV infection to me through my urethra? How long can HIV survive on the open surface such the flush handle in the toilet bowl? The toilet appeared dry so perhaps at least 2 hours have passed since the last person if ever used it. Thank you for being generous in answering questions.
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver helpline with your HIV related questions/concerns. We're happy to help!

I understand that these type of situations can be concerning! I hope my answer will help to ease your worries.

I'm happy to let you know that this situation is No Risk! The reason is that HIV is a very delicate virus that cannot survive outside of the human body. This means that when it's exposed to the general environment, it becomes damaged and inactivated and can no longer be passed on. Therefore, any bodily fluids on surfaces, such as the toilet or flush handle, are no longer a risk! They don't even need to be dried, even wet fluids are no longer a risk!

Check out this page on HIV transmission for more information about how it's transmitted: http://www.avert.org/hiv-transmission-prevention/how-you-get-hiv

I hope this helped!

Sincerely,

Christina

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)

helpline@aidsvancouver.org

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