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Mall Janitor

Feb 10, 2014

So, over the past few months I have been charged with cleaning the restrooms at my place of employment. I must say these bathrooms get pretty disgusting. I am definitely a new found germ-a-phobe and I have taken some precautions which include rubber gloves and one of those disposable filter face mask things. I use paper towels and either Brighton Professional non-acid bathroom cleaner or the same brand surface spray. First question, would these products kill HIV on contact? Also, my concern is lack of eye protection. Although I have never been splashed in the eyes, would any blood droplets within any stool that somehow made its way to my eye region pose a threat? Im somewhat color blind so differentiating colors isnt easy. Finally, if say blood saturated stool/ water was to splash on my clothing, could it possibly soak through the layer of clothing and if it did, would coming into contact with a pimple say in the pubic region pose a threat? Or is there even a threat if i go to wipe my face with my shirt (if any body fluids made contact with it). I know it may be a stretch but anxiety runs in my family haha...

Thanks in advance for any input or recommendations on more precautions I should take.

P.S. I have no way of gauging when the bowel movements were made to make the mess they did.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi For a yucky job you are doing everything right. Using gloves, mask etc.. to keep yourself from picking up any type of bacteria or infection. No, you can not get HIV from touching an inanimate object. Transmission of HIV from a contaminated surface would require massive exposure to blood or other infected liquid for a prolonged period of time (for example: a blood soaked shirt of a health care worker that remained while she performed CPR). See HIV101 for how HIV is and is not transmitted. Also once HIV leaves the body it begins to die and becomes unable to infect.

Keep up the good work and hopefully you can get promoted from cleaning the bathrooms!

Be well and stay safe, Shannon

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