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sorry another toilet question
Oct 26, 2001

I know your getting alot of toilet questions lately. So please forgive me for asking yet another one. I sat on a public toilet, and the crotch part of my underwear did touch the toilet. To my horror when I pulled them up I felt something wet. It was blood. I work in a OB/GYN office so we tend to see alot of infectious people. What are my chance of getting HIV via the underwear, IF it did touch my inner labia only breifly? Please answer we the public need to know about safety in restrooms, because freak accidents do happen.

thank you for your invaluable service

Response from Ms. Breuer

This question is a first. Yes, there have been a lot of toilet questions lately--and over the 16 years I've done workplace HIV education--but never one with this set of circumstances. What you describe comes closer to an actual toilet seat exposure than any question I've ever had in this category. I would call the risk of exposure very remote, but not entirely absent. For your own peace of mind, I recommend getting an HIV test at 90 days. Yours has only the most miniscule chance of reflecting a real exposure, but if I were you, that niggling question would drive me crazy.

What a freak accident! Please know that your risk of infection is very low, but since it isn't zero, I do urge you to follow up. And if you think of it, please let me know how you are. I'll be thinking about you. Thank you for writing, and please don't make yourself nuts about this. I recommend the test only because blood was involved.

I assume you've been vaccinated against hepatitis B? If not, this is a great time--now.



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