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Are showers a risk?
Oct 2, 1996

Hi, Mr. Sowadsky! I am a college student, and I was wondering if someone could get HIV from pubic hairs on the shower walls or vaginal fluid on the shower floor. Also, in the showers there is a shelf in which people can put their items on, and it's usually wet and covered with pubic and head hairs. Can any of my items pick up the virus if vaginal fluid was on them or my shower shoes? Thank you

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

You would NOT be considered at risk for HIV. The circumstances you described are considered casual contact. HIV is not transmitted by any form of casual contact. HIV will only live for several minutes outside the body, and must get into your bloodstream in this short amount of time. The chances of you being exposed to vaginal secretions from the previous person, and those secretions getting into your bloodstream within several minutes, under these conditions are highly unlikely. HIV has never been transmitted by any form of casual day-to-day contact, like what you are describing above. So you can relax, and not worry about HIV transmission in this setting.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide). Rick Sowadsky MSPH CDS



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