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Handling used condom and semen spillage
Dec 23, 2004

Hello Dr.Bob, I was picking some bits of rubbish up out of the hedge at the bottom of the back garden the other day.Over the hedge is a lane to which the public have access and quite often litter is dropped and blows into the hedge or is even thrown over.I picked up what appeared to be a clean white tissue and squeezed it into the palm of my hand.I felt my hand get damp and realised there was something in the tissue.On opening it out I was horrified to see a used condom which had spilled most of its contents on my hands and fingers.I have no cuts on my hands other than a small nick under a fingernail.I immediately washed thoroughly but am concerned I may now be at risk.The rubbish including the article in question had been in the garden for at least a couple of days but maybe lomger.How long can the virus survive in semen in this situation?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Relax! You have absolutely no cause for concern. HIV does not survive very long at all outside the body and certainly not "a couple of days." HIV also cannot cross intact skin. So the lover's lane leftovers pose no threat whatsoever.

Happy Holidays.

Dr. Bob



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