Anonymous
Can I catch HIV if my underwear fell off my knees and hit the dirty toilet floor with urine stains? I know it sounds silly but I have OCD, so it is really bothering me. Thank you.
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. I understand you're worried about the risk of acquiring HIV from a bathroom floor, and I will be happy to address that for you.

As a general rule, HIV is not transmitted to us from the environment. This is because the HIV virus is very fragile and dies very quickly once it is outside of the body and exposed to air. Also, urine does not transmit HIV. Therefore, if your underwear touched the bathroom floor with urine stains, there is no risk of acquiring HIV. Generally, almost all cases of HIV transmission happen due to sexual contact (mainly unprotected intercourse) or sharing syringes.

To give you a better idea, I will include the "transmission equation", which shows the bodily fluids that contain HIV, the routes of transmission, and the activities that can pose a risk for transmission. Using this chart you will be able to deduce if a situation creates a risk for acquiring HIV.

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



All the best,

Ali

AIDS Vancouver Helpline

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (PST)

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION