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Hot Tubs
Aug 22, 2001

Ryan I go to a hot tub where Gay men have sex when I was there (alone) I started to think maybe I could get HIV from sitting in the tub naked , do you think it is possible ? should I worry about any other STDs sitting in a Hot Tub ? I asked the owners and they said the hot water would kill the HIV and to sit on a towel in the sauna. please reply

Response from Mr. Kull

It is 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. 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.

The owner of the facility is probably right; the heated water in a hot tub would probably render HIV inactive (especially if there were chemicals in the water). Also, the water would probably dilute any infectious fluid to uninfectious levels. It is also unlikely that any STDs would be spread through sitting in a hot tub.

It MAY be possible to get infected with certain STDs (and probably not HIV) by sitting in a sauna without a towel wrapped around you, but I'm not sure of the evidence surrounding this. For instance, sitting on a bench that a person with a skin-related infection (like herpes) had been sitting on MAY pose a risk for infection, but the risk is probably low. Your skin would have to come into contact with virus relatively quickly. Wrap a towel around you just to be sure.

RMK



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