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Dental and sauna risk of STD / HIV
Jan 19, 2012

Hello

I went to a dentist recently . I was having mouth ulcer when I went there, I am not sure whether the dentist use clean equipment and tools because he did not open any new pack of tool in front of me, but i canot see any blood on the tool he used , is there any risk of HIV or std in this case? Another time was I went to a beauty saloon I did a sauna and I sit nakedly on the sauna bench , does this post a risk too ?

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hello-

First, often dentists and other surgeons do not open new tools but are trained to sterilize all their equipment in between patients and I am guessing this is the case here. Thus it would be extremely unlikely to get HIV from "dirty dentist tools". Also, dentists are trained in "universal precautions" to protect themselves and patients from bloodborne diseases, like HIV and Hepatitis. In my experience main wound inflicted by dentists is on your wallet!

For your second question, it is also highly unlikely that you would get infected with HIV by contact with anything in a public environment; this includes hot tubs, public pools, showers, towels, saunas, steamrooms, etc. There is no evidence that HIV has been transmitted through casual contact like this. HIV does not survive in the environment for very long and you would need to have mucous membrane/bloodstream contact for transmission to be possible.

Take care,

LHW



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