HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
HIV Risk Assessment
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HIV Risk Assessment

Hello,

I wanted to get your opinion on a recent event as I am concerned. I was using a public restroom and had to reach into the trash to grab something I dropped. It was a women's restroom, and had feminine products in the trashcan.

I cannot remember if I washed my hands after this - I hope I did, but am operating on the assumption that I did not.

About 3 minutes later, I put in a new tampon. I did use hand sanitizer before doing this, but it was a pretty limited amount.

I am concerned that I may have come in contact with HIV-infected blood when reaching in the trash can and then shortly after I touched my genitals when changing my tampon. I don't recall seeing blood on my hands, but I am concerned nonetheless.

Would you consider this a risk, and would you recommend testing? Would this be a risk for Hep C also? Thank you for any help you can provide.
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

Nobody in the world ever caught HIV from the sorts of events you describe.  The virus doesn't survive in the environment.  Same is true for all STDs:  despite face-saving lies by people who couldn't admit sexual infidelities throughout history, there has never been a case of STD acquired in a public toilet.  (Unless of course they had unprotected sex while there!)

This also would not be any risk for hepatitis C.  With poor hygiene, there could be risks for hepatitis A and various other intestinal infections from public toilets.  But that's about all.

Regards--  HHH, MD
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