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Scenario for you
Aug 23, 2001

I had a similar questionas the one described by the question posted dated 21 August about contact with a stranger' blood. I don't think I am at real risk but this issue had been disturbing me for some time and I would aappreciated some help. A while back, I was using a public toilet where I noticd I had cut fresh cut on my hands which I am not too sure when I got it or where I got it from. My cut hand came into contact with the toilet seat. I wasn't too worried about this though, until saw the cut on my hand and became concerned that what if there had been traces of HIV on the seat and the HIV would thus had an access to my body due to the fresh cut. The cut wasn't bleeding but it was fairly deep when I held it open. That thought promted me to take a closer look at the seat. To my horror, I found some stains on it! My question is, how long would HIV survive in fluids on a toilet seat? The stains were not exactly dried, the were smudgy in appearance. I have read from various forums that once the fluid is dry, the HIV is dead. But what about in semi dry fluid? I also read from the responses from this forum that HIV will take only a few seconds to die once exposed to air. It certainly takes more than a 'few seconds' for anything to dry! So will the hiv still be viable enough to infect me in such a situation? If HIV dies in a few seconds, then I don't think I have anything to be worried about. Please help me.

Response from Ms. Breuer

You're right. You probably have nothing to worry about. I don't know how long "a while ago" was, but if it was at least 12 weeks ago, you can put your concern to rest by getting an HIV test. In most states, it's free and anonymous.

In 20 years, the known history of this epidemic in the US, no one is on record as having acquired HIV from a toilet seat. I'm guessing that you haven't made medical history. But your emotions are what matter now. Get the test. Feel freer.

Very Frightened! Contact with stranger's blood

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