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Help! I am very worried!
Jul 6, 2001

Thanks for answering this question. A while back, I was using a public toilet. As I was in a hurry, I did not check to see how clean the seat was. I was just about to use a piece of toilet paper to clean my genital area dry after reliving myself when I accidently brushed the paper against the toilet seat. I should have stop myself and discard that piece but could not in time and hence applied that piece of paper against my body. I was very worried as it hit upon me that I might catch aids! Is this mode of transmission possible? I checked the seat upon getting up and was mortified to see a dried stain on the seat. It could have been anything, but what if it was as stain of some infectious body fluid like vaginal secretions? I cannot remember if the seat had anything else on it, but my mind keeps conjuring up all possibilities that some infectious fluid had been on the seat and I had exposed myself to them? Like when I would imagine that some infected blood might have been left on the seat but after being wiped away, there would be no obvious signs but the virus could still be living on the surface! Is this possible? How long can the virus survive in this fashion? Can dead virus entering the body cause infection as well? Please help me by answering this question, as silly as it sounds, cause it is causing me alot of worry and pain, that I have even convinced myself that I have HIV infection and it is affecting my daily life as well.

Response from Ms. Franzoi

This is not a mode of transmission. You are not at risk from dried stains on a toilet seat. Even if HIV had been present at one time, it is very fragile. It is a bloodborne virus and cannot survive exposure to heat, light or air. So there is no possibility of contracting the virus from dried stains on a toilet seat.

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