Is it safe to swim with your menstrual period in a pool

Question

I hope you can end a long-time heated debate between my husband and I. I'm co-infected with HIV and Hep C. I have never, not once, gone swimming since my HIV diagnosis in 1988 while I have my period. I believe I do that more for my peace of mind because I've been told that it is safe to swim in a pool as the chemicals kill the virus. I know it is easier to transmit Hep C than HIV but I still cannot bring myself to enter a swimming area that others share as I flow quite heavy as well. Am I being ridiculous? Thank you for providing this valuable service to those of us living with HIV. :-)

Answer

Hi.

There would be no risk to other swimmers. The chemicals in the water as well as the effect of dilution due to the large amount of water in the pool would negate any and all risk of transmission of a blood borne pathogen such as HIV or Hepatitis C. Besides, I assume you wouldn't be swimming naked and would use a tampon or protective pad under your teeny weeny itsy bitsy yellow polkadot bikini. I agree with the advice you've previously received: "it is safe to swim in a pool...."

Dr. Bob