Stumped Sex-Ed Teacher that cannot find the answer in yuour archives. Uggggggh
Sep 15, 2010
I am a Sex-Ed teacher and a student actually asked me a question I could not answer correctly.
Here was the question this boy asked me. He was using the urinal at school and was doing his business. (# 1). He said after he was finished, before he washed his hands he went to wipe something off his face. He has a cold sore on his lip and accidentally touched it and got something wet on it. Now this was before he washed his hands. So he asked if somebody before him used the urinal that was HIV+, and the wetness was something that splashed back onto him from the person with right before him who was HIV+ at the urinal. And it could of been anything that had the HIV+ virus on it and he touched his face as described above. What are his chances of getting HIV?
I did not know how to answer this and after searching through the archives I couldn't find anything with this type of result. Getting drops of whatever that splashed back from the urinal.
How can I answer this for him? Who knows what could of splashed back on him, and then touching his cold sore before washing his hands. What are his chances of getting HIV this way? What if a person used it right before him - like he was standing in line or something and the person was HIV+.
I am thinking of the worst here so I can answer the question properly?
Help me with this one please, Laurie
Response from Dr. Frascino
You can reassure your student there was no HIV risk. The only things that could conceivably splash back from the urinal are urine and/or toilet water. Urine that does not contain visible blood is not considered an HIV risk. Likewise the urinal flush-water would not pose an HIV risk. You can read many similar "backsplash" type questions in the archives. I'll repost below a small sample of what can be found in the archives.
Simple - The Urinal -- Help Dr. Bob - Also instructions to make a Donation (BACKSPLASH, 2010) Jan 24, 2010
I used a urnial in the mall. Don't know if the guy that passed me used the same one or not. But I walked up to it and used it. I felt a little splahing from the back of the urnial. (you know where the water runs down when you flush) I did not flush - this happened while I was uirinating. I do have a pulled back nail that stings quite a bit on my finger. My question Dr. Bob. is. 1.) What are the chances of me catiching the HIV virus this way. What if the guy that passed me was HIV+ and I used the same urinal he did and -- who knows what was spahing from the back of it while I was going. Is this a way for me to catch the HIV virus?
2.) Is there any need for me to take a test because of this incident?
Please Help me understand this Dr. Bob.
Also let me know where I can make a Donation.
WHOOPS SORRY Dr. Bob -- One Last Question - Urinal -- Donation will be made. (Submitted Jan 23, 2010)
The Reason I am concerned about the Urinal incident is because the unrinal I used was not an Automatic Flusihng kind. It was Old School ,, where you have to push down the metal handle. Who knows who could of used that before me and what they might of had. And the guy walking out when I walked in did not look to up-scale.
Again, Is there a chance of catching HIV this way?
Please read my last e-mai lso you know what my issue was/
Thank You Again Dr. Bob,
I will donate,
Response from Dr. Frascino
HIV from a urinal backsplash??? Nope. No way. No how. Steve, if HIV were transmitted that easily, it would have wiped out the entire planet (well, at least those of us who pee standing up) long ago. Actually, "backsplash" (usually from a commode) is a QTND (question that never dies) and consequently has an ATNC (answer that never changes). See below for an example from the archives.
To sum up Steve, unless Mr. Not-Up-To-Scale was virally enhanced and you had unsafe sex with him in the mall men's loo, you have nothing to worry about.
Please help me (BACKSPLASH, TOILET WATER, 2009) Oct 23, 2009 Yesterday I had to pee really badly. I was at a coffee shop. the person before me did not flush the toilet as there was fesces in there.so, i flushed the toilet but one small tiny piece of fesces came back up. I did pee anyhow because I had to badly but I peed standing up, not sitting down. A few squirts of water reached my leg and vaginal area while the tiny piece of fesces was in there. If the person before me was hiv infected, can that be contagious. Please advise. Thanks for your help doctor.
Response from Dr. Frascino
"Fesces"????? What's that?
Feces that does not contain visible blood is not considered a risk for HIV transmission. Backsplash from an untidy tidy bowl is not an HIV risk! See below.
A REAL Donation! (BACKSPLASH, TOILET WATER, 2009) Mar 26, 2009
I'm actually going to make a real donation and not just claim to. I will donate $40 for a simple Q&A.
I recently had to use a public restroom at a park. DISGUSTING to say the least! I didn't sit on the toilet, I popped a squat and peed. As I was peeing I felt backsplash on my back side. When I finished, I looked in the toilet and noticed the WHOLE inside of the toilet FULL of blood. If the blood backsplashed into my anus or vagina would there be a risk? I also have HSV-2 (GENITAL HERPES) DOES THIS INCREASE THE RISK??
Thank you for the help, I pray that you answer my question. Karmic cheers!
(please add to) A REAL Donation (Submitted Mar 20, 2009)
I will add another $20 to my primary donation. Please add this to my last post..
I forgot to make it clear, if there is a risk of the backsplash hitting my anus or vagina (having HSV-2) If the blood in the toilet was that of HIV infected blood.
I'm sure you knew I was talking about HIV infected blood, I just wanted to note that!
Thank you again for your time!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Her we go again; another toilet backsplash question. Your HIV risk from squatting, peeing and getting backsplashed in a disgusting public restroom are nonexistent, even if you noted blood on the "WHOLE inside of the toilet" and even if you have HSV-2, OK? If you aren't having unsafe sex with an HIV-positive person in the porta-potty, you aren't at risk for contracting the virus there, OK? (See below.)
Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org).
Be well. Stop worrying!
Archive was faster (BACKSPLASH, TOILET WATER) Oct 27, 2008
I have read almost all the archive, and among all what I had ready there are two or three posts that I really admired. In fact, they do not just answer my questions, but it has explained to me a lot of things that I did not know. I urge everyone to read the archive before posting their questions. Actually I have been asking you for 15 days now, and did not get a single reply, whilst after having read the archive, I noticed that you had already replied to all my questions, and you have the full right to neglect my already answered questions.
Here below are the posts and extracts that reply my questions
should point out that by taking time to reassure you once again, someone else's question will have to go unanswered. You shouldn't be apologizing to me, but rather to the poor guy who won't even get his first question answered, because you couldn't accept the very obvious link between "nonexistent risk" and "No way. No how." Please note there is only one of me and gazillions of "yous." Rather than wondering how I keep my patience while continuing to receive numerous requests for me to merely repeat myself, I would ask that you and other chronic posters consider becoming just a bit more reasonable, OK?
Please I beg your pardon.
Now you can either continue to read the below or just end this post at this stage. But in any case please let me know.
Dr. I am not playing the smart, but I really appreciate (all though that all the posts I have read, made it clear for me that I am not at risk) if you can really answer the below two questions just so that I can proof to my wife that I am not at risk, who is really rejecting me.
Question Number 1:
that has come into my mind after being at the Lab for a blood test. i have to admit that i have OCD and mianly for what is called HIV, so i am not sure if my question could be related to My theoratical exposure but out of curiosity if i may ask: during a blood test or blood drawing usually you have the Needle, the Platic Holder and the tube as tools. i know that the Vacuum Tubes and Needles should be sterilzed and New, but what about the plastic Holder?!?!?!?. i am much concerned that probably the lab technician during the blood test has used an old (used) plastic holder. what if such holder had blood on i from the previous patient?!?!? i know that the needle is covere from the side where it goes though the plastic holder, but what if little blood goes out from the hole that the needle makes while pricking the tube? if the blood was dry, will that cause a risk? is it normal that Lab uses same plastic holder each time? is it that costly to have a new one evrytime or to sterilize them?
finally please Doctor, is my exposure considered risky?
yesterday, i arrived home and rush to the toilet. while doing "it", i had a splash back water landing onto my butt (sorry for using such words but my english is not very good). it did not reach my penis nor my annus, but while wiping it, it may have got there. my fear is that the cleaning lady was at my house 4 or 5 hours before that incident, and i am not sure if she had used the bathroom and was in her period. Say, she was HIV+, had her period and used the bathroom, and i had a flash-back on my mucous skin will that cause infection? i know that my chances are so little that i should not think of, but i was wondering if HIV can live in toilet bowel for 4 or 5 hours, especially that we use cubes in the toilet as detergent but i am not sure if that would dilute the virus if existed, since the cube was almost melted, and the flush was not working well however, the water inside seemed to be clean . Hum, the cleaning lady is of 50 old, so I am not sure if she is on menopause, or perimenopause which that would increase the chance of her being in her period.
Dr. i beg you respond this time.
Thanks. in advance, and i still owe a donation for your organization, but please bear with me.
Response from Dr. Frascino
I'm delighted you read the archives and found the information and reassurance you needed. Hopefully others will do the same.
Regarding your specific questions:
1. There is no risk of contracting HIV from getting blood drawn. Period. The plastic holder does not come into contact with blood. "Universal precautions" have been in place for years to protect health care workers from being infected by patients and vice versa. I've discussed this many times in the archives. Are you sure you've read "almost all the archives?"
2. Another "backsplash" question? Now I'm really questioning your claim that you read the archives at all. I'll post below only a small sampling of questions from the archives that address this QTND (question that never dies). Your HIV risk is nonexistent for both of your worries.
Hiv transmission or paranoia Dec 9, 2007
I have been so paranoid with hiv in the last three years that it has really changed my life for the worst. I had unprotected sex three years ago which started this whole thing and went threw several tests and they all came back negative. I am now in a serious relationship with my boyfriend and we have unprotected sex only with each other and we were both tested before we starting doing anything. I'm really scared because of an incident that happened to me today at work, I was using the restroom and doing a number 2 and I felt a drop or two of water hit my left butt cheek when I left the washroom I starting thinking some crazy things again! my question is what if there was infected hiv blood in the toilet and when I was wiping myself could it be possible that I could transfer that blood onto the toilet paper and into my anus? I get to nervous with this topic and I always think I have it when these little things happen and I wish I could stop worrying about this because it really affects my day to day living if you know of anything I can do to help me with this obsession I would really appreciate it thanks. I would also love to donate some money as well if you could please let me know how I could do it.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your HIV risk from the backsplash of your "number 2" droppings with or without wiping is completely nonexistent. I've covered this topic numerous times before. Check the archives! The only way you can contract HIV in a public restroom is to have unsafe sex with an HIV-positive person in the stall, OK?
Donation information for The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site, www.concertedeffort.org.
As for your recurrent unwarranted and completely irrational fear, I would recommend you try psychological counseling. Ask your general medical doctor for a referral. Irrational fears be they HIV, flying, spiders, snakes or ever having a president as bad as Dubya again are incredibly common. Appropriate counseling can help you confront and conquer these irrational anxieties.
Checked the archive--Question almost answered, but not quite Apr 12, 2005
Dear Dr. Bob,
First off, I'd like to thank you for the suggestion to check the archive before asking: just reading others' questions has allowed me to put my own fears into greater perspective. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
However, I would still like to present my question and scenario.
While making a long drive across the country, I stopped at a fast food joint for some food and a break. I also desperately needed the restroom (I know you're groaning right now . . . sorry). Anyways, I practically ran in, opened the first stall, urinated with great force from a squat (I know, I know, but when I don't have the option or time to assess the seat, I sometimes do it), but then noticed that the toilet I had used was FULL of menstrual blood (seriously, it was prodigious). Apparently it had been lurking at the bottom, probably settled underneath some toilet paper, and my recent activity had stirred it up again.
Anyways, I don't think I was the victim of "splash-back," but what if I had been? All the other questions about toilet menstrual blood in this forum seem to be about material on the seat, not free-flowing blood mixed with toilet water. What if I had defecated and received a splash right back into my anus?
I know many women worry about this question, and as much as you hear that public restrooms are of no risk, women encounter blood within them fairly frequently (much more so than most men imagine). I thought I had convinced myself that I was unlikely to contract anything in a restroom (squatting notwithstanding), but then this happened and made me question that assumption.
Please help (donation pending),
Public Toilet Troubled
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Public Toilet Troubled,
Another QTND (Question That Never Dies)!
OK, one more time, here we go . . . . You can not get HIV form a public toilet (with or without menstrual blood in the toilet, with or without backsplash ugh!), unless, of course, you have unsafe sex with an HIV positive person while in the stall, OK?
Thank you for your donation! Now "flush" those unwarranted worries away! Oh, and please don't write back and tell me you are also still worried about mosquitoes too. OK?
USA, you should be proud of doctor Robert Frascino and follow his example. a man of honour. Apr 8, 2006
I want to tell you that you are an inspiration for all the people in the world with AIDS. You chose your path and instead of being selfish and turn only to you, you chose to help the others, you are truly an example to follow. Sorry for my English I write you from Barcelona,spain, I am a school teacher but I always tell my students about importance of preventing AIDS and the importance of helping the others and give a little bit of what we have received from god.
I read your posts all the days. I also organized a brigade of my students and I take them every 15 days to help in a clinic in which they have AIDS patients and other terminal patients but most of them have AIDS:
They often ask me questions about transmission and they are sometimes concerned about the contact they have with the patients, because sometimes they cry on their shoulders, sometimes they have to hug them, I always tell them that casual contact is not a way of transmission as you say in all of your posts. They ask me a lot and I always answer according to your responses from this web page. I only want to say that in one point I do not know what to answer them and the responses I have seen in the site do not explain why the answers are in that sense: they often ask me their concern about going to the bathroom in the clinic in which we help, they say and I have red it that, feces contain AIDS, and also I know that terminal patients defecate with blood in their feces.
What my students often ask me is what if they have cuts on their back parts of their body ( near the anus or thebutt (sorry I do not know how to say it in a formal way jaja), or what if they have hemorrhoids that bleed every time they go to the bathroom ( not so rare due to the lowest amount of fibers consumed in spain) and in the cases described a splash with some blood or feces (which will not be rare) comes in direct contact with blood of my students. I always tell them not to worry because you always say in your posts that there is absolutely no risk in contracting AIDS in public bathrooms, expect having unprotected sex in bathrooms (that s what I say to them) but I don t know why you cannot be infected via the situations that I described ( I am myself not very convinced that you cannot get AIDS by sharing a bathroom with an infected person.) I also saw a post written in 1997 and anwered by Mr krull in which a women asks if you can get aids by getting a direct splash in a bathroom where a previous women left some blood from her period and Mr krull answered that if blood and blood comes in a direct contact anything is possible. However he told the women that there is no case registered of getting AIDS that way.
So to summarize all of the foregoing mentioned I only want to know why you cannot get AIDS by the situations I describe previously to be able to explain my students ( as you say that you cannot get AIDS by using public bathroom), and also does AIDS survive well in the water?, like I said for example in a public bathroom. (I know it does not survive well in the air). I also want to thank you for the time you are taking from reading this questions and I want to say to you that I am organizing a fund raising and will donate part of it to your cause. I promise you that because I am one of your biggest fans, they way you treat your forum with humor and your patience to answer questions is admirable, I admire you a lot.
José. Barcelona, spain.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hola José from Barcelona,
Thank you for your kind comments.
To answer your question, HIV does not live very long at all outside the body, whether in air, water or public toilets. If an HIV+ patient did have blood in his/her feces, it would instantly be diluted in the toilet bowl and also not survive outside the body. Consequently the chance of getting fresh HIV-infected blood into a freshly bleeding wound via backsplash or whatever would be so remote as to be essentially nonexistent. We have been closely monitoring the HIV/AIDS pandemic for 25 years and there has never been a case of HIV transmission via this route.
It's certainly appropriate to advise your students to avoid contact with infected bodily fluids (blood, semen, cervical secretions, etc.), but they should not be concerned about using the restroom, even if they get backsplashed and have a hemorrhoid or whatever. Also, you can remind them there is no risk from some fluids, such as sweat and tears. You can find a wealth of information on how HIV is and is not transmitted on this Web site and its related links. Perhaps printing out some of this material for your kids might help. I'm delighted you have taken the initiative to organize these volunteer trips to the clinic. The lessons your students are learning there are invaluable. You and your students are to be commended and have my heartfelt thanks for demonstrating compassion to those in need.
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