Anonymous
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Hello! I recently got back from a trip and stupidly enough I wore my unwashed bikini after being kept in a ziplock bag for a week with a fresh open wound from shaving for at least half a day. Am i at risk of HIV through potential dried fluids? Also, I subsequently tried on a few other bikinis on the roadside without my underwear on with the open wound. I know HIV only lives for a few minutes in the air - but how long is a few minutes? What if the other person who tried on is HIV positive and this was also just a few minutes ago?

I hope you can help me as I have been worried for weeks now.

Thank you!
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for you HIV/AIDS related health information. It sounds like you are concerned about your risk of HIV transmission after wearing an unwashed bikini and trying on bikinis in a store without underwear.

The situations that you have described is are No Risk situations. Here are some of the reasons why:

* HIV is a Human-to-Human virus. It cannot be transmitted to you by an object, for example a bikini.

* HIV needs a human host to survive. Once HIV is outside of the body and exposed to oxygen it can no longer transmit. There have been scientific studies undertaken to see how long HIV can survive outside of the body. It is important to realize, however, that these studies are conducted in a controlled laboratory environment nothing like our outside environment, and with concentrations of HIV that are not seen in a real world setting. Thus, it is not helpful to speculate how many seconds of minutes HIV could survive in a bikini. Therefore, it is safe to assume that any HIV on the bikinis that you tried on was not transmittable to you at the time you tried them on.

* HIV needs direct access to your bloodstream in order to transmit. There was no direct access to your bloodstream in either scenario.

I would encourage you to check out the following resources about HIV:

  • Smart Sex Resource


  • HIV Basics


  • Risk Assessment Chart


  • Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

    Hilary


    AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

    helpline.aidsvancouver.org


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