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Blood on Toilet
Mar 11, 2002

I sat on a toilet seat with blood on it. Can I contract anything??

Response from Mr. Kull

Transmission of HIV is only possible if HIV infected FLUIDS (blood, semen, vaginal secretions) come into contact with MUCOUS MEMBRANES (the lining of the vagina, rectum, mouth, urethra) or directly with your BLOODSTREAM. Skin is a barrier to HIV.

It's important to remember that HIV is only known to be transmitted through the following three ways:

1) Sexual contact: anal, vaginal, and oral sex

2) Blood-to-blood contact: sharing injection needles, occupational exposures, blood transfusions (which is rare in the U.S.). This does not include coming into contact with blood on the toilet seat.

3) Mother-to-infant: either through delivery or during breast feeding

One of the main reasons that HIV is not transmitted through contact with objects in the environment is that HIV does not survive in the environment long, outside of a human host. Scientists found that drying fluids containing very high concentrations of HIV(concentrations that are not normally encountered in day-to-day life) reduced the number of infectious virus by 90% to 99%. It is safe to say, based on these laboratory studies, that HIV would become uninfectious realitively quickly when exposed to the environment, making transmission through indirect contact with another person's fluids remote.

RMK



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