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Toilet Seats
Jun 6, 2002

I know this question has been answered but please respond. The other day I was not thinking and I sat down on the toilet seat in the restroom, I did not put anything down on the seat before I sat down. Totally freaked myself out about thirty minutes later when it hit me. I have no idea if their was anything on the seat other than the fact that I glanced at the seat before using and it looked clean. Would you get tested? You can't pass the hiv to your own toilet seat at home after this can you? I may sound paranoid but please answer!

Response from Mr. Kull

HIV is not transmitted through contact with toilet seats or other objects in your day-to-day environment. 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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