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HIV and public toilet
Feb 1, 2003

hello. i wanted to ask you, being realisticly is there a possibility of getting hiv from a public toilet?imagine you use the toilet right away after somebody else, and that person released urine and feces, then flushed, but microorganisms are still there,so you use it, and you get water jump into your anus,is it a way hiv can be transmitted?if not has it been proved?please let me know i dont want to infect my family or other if i am infected...

Response from Dr. Wohl

Poop and pee with abandon as you will not infect anyone no matter how messy your bathroom habits may be. For transmission to occur you need several things to all happen including a sufficient amount of living virus to be present in the material and a portal of entry.

Urine and feces do not generally contain lots of HIV (certainly nowhere near the levels you see in blood). Getting a splash of these, while not pleasant, posed little if any risk of transmission to others. A little splash of toilet water contaminated with urine or poop on someone's tush won't do it for HIV transmission.

So no more bathroom anxiety. But I think I speak for your family when I say please do remember to flush. DW



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