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being infected by walking on floors
Sep 18, 2001

Is it possible that if you walk on floors in a hospital or nursing home & then you walk on floors in your house for there to be blood or body fluids capable of transmitting hiv? I worry about my children playing with toys that have been on the floor & then they put things in their mouth. It is impossible to watch everything that they do but I am concerned that they could be infected with hiv because I have walked on the floors & carpet with my shoes that I wear when I work. Thank you.

Response from Ms. Breuer

When you walk on hospital or nursing room floors, you are walking on surfaces in a building where many people are suffering from the effects of germs that are in all kinds of places in our environment. There is no such thing as avoiding all contact with potentially dangerous germs. That's why it's important to keep our immune systems strong with good nutrition and exercise and sleep and all that stuff our grandmothers told us.

I think you probably know that HIV cannot survive in oxygen and needs direct contact between the infected person and the uninfected person to be transmitted. So HIV is probably the least likely thing you could "bring home" on your shoes.

What would you think of making your household cleaner for your children and yourself by changing into "house shoes" when you come back from work? These would be shoes that you wear only inside the house. That might put your mind at ease about all the germs you encounter at work.

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