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HIV from Blood in Water

Mar 9, 2004

Calvin, please help me, I've searched all through your site and I've been unable to ascertain a risk for being infected with HIV through my experience with blood in water. I am desperate for some guidance, as this has consumed my thoughts everyday for the past several weeks, making me sick with anxiety.

My situation involves coming into contact with blood in water. I went to the bathroom at a McDonalds (I am a male), and began to urinate into the toilet. The toilet water was clear, but in the bowl was what appeared to be a bloody piece of toilet paper submerged underwater. When I was almost done urinating, a very small splash of toilet water landed on the skin just below my eye (not in my eye), so small that I could hardly feel it. The splash was not bloody as the water in the toilet was clear, but there was certainly blood on the piece of submerged toilet paper.

I realize that you have repeatedly said that you cannot get HIV from a public restroom, but I felt this situation was different since it involved possible contact with blood rather than feces, and that the splash was near my eye.

What would estimate my risk for HIV transmission as being? Am I worrying about nothing? Should I be tested in 3 months, for I fear I cannot deal with my anxiety for that long?

Thank you for your wonderful work on this site, as you have been a wonderful resource for myself and many others.

Response from Mr. Spinks

Hello reader,

I would estimate that you have no risk for HIV infection in the above-mentioned scenario. The drop of water didn't land in your eye and it was just water. The body fluids that transmit HIV are blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids. Also, HIV isn't a hardy virus and doesn't live outside of the body long. So, both of these facts are in your favor. After reading this, hopefully your anxiety will decrease.

Take care and be safe!

Need an Explanation
Dr. bob, please help the symptoms are real.

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