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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Can you contract AIDs from public restrooms

Resolved Question:

I was using public restrooms in the gay village (I am a female). When using public restrooms, I frequently squat/hover over the toilet...however this sometimes creates back splash from the toilet bowel, and my urine...will this back splash cause AIDS? What if the back splash lands in my underwear and i wear it after? I was menstruating at the time, and did not have a tampon available, therefore there may have been some mestrual blood in my neither regions - will this cause AIDs if mixed with back spray?. I am not very knowdlegable on the subject, hence my enquiries. Could you contract AIDS from sitting on a toilet seat?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
NO - HIV/AIDS is not transmitted through contact with public restroom seats, or splashes of toilet water.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I was using a bathroom where the lights are blue apparently to prevent junkies from finding their veins for usage - does this increase the risk? the toilets appeared clean
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
I would NOT worry about contacting HIV/AIDS by the mechanism you describe.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
So given the above two questions, in your professonial judgement, i do not need to go see a doctor for the aids exposure series of oral pills? I have severe germaphobia
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
In my professional opinion - NO, you do NOT need any testing or treatment. If you were my patient, and you came to my office with this concern, I would NOT prescribe medication, since there is NO risk.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Last and final question, if i fell on the bathroom floor with my pants down therefore exposing my bare tush, should i be concerned?
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
NO - you do NOT contact HIV/AIDS through skin.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
what if it was my vagina touching the bathroom floor (depending on how i fell)
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
what about i have this small dried blood blister/callus on my big toe/side of fott...if i was wearing sandals and accidentally stepped on the bathroom floor, could i contract AIDS in this manner? (there is a slight piece of tough skinon the cut, but it did not bleed when i went for a pedicure)
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
NO - the ONLY way to contact HIV is through sharing needles or having sexual contact with an infected person.

In fact, the risk of contacting HIV from an infected person is much less than most people guess. The chance of contacting HIV from from a single exposure of sexual (vaginal) intercourse with an HIV infected man (unprotected) is only 10 in 10,000, and for oral sex the risk is 1 in 10,000.

While I do not want to sound like I am minimizing the risk of these other behaviors, HIV is NOT as contagious as people think. You can NOT get HIV/AIDS from any of the scenarios you describe.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
but could the blood of the open blister not be used as a medium of transferrring if for example there was contaminated blood/semen/urine on the bathroom floor? or if my vagina touched the contaminated items described above on the bathroom floor? How long can AIDS live outside the body?

As you can probably tell, I have a germ problem. I appreciate you taking the time to explain the methods of transmission.
Expert:  Family Physician replied 9 years ago.
NO - this is NOT a method of transmission of HIV/AIDS.

The HIV virus does NOT survive well in the environment and transmission from the environment is NOT a method of transmission.

Please understand - this virus is NOT as easy to contract as you seem to believe. Even with sexual intercourse the SINGLE CONTACT risk is about 1 in 1,000.
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