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Can HIV be transmitted through wet towel with semen?

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HIV AIDS Specialist
Practicing since : 1974
Answered : 2388 Questions
Can someone get hiv from a wet towel with semen that was used to wipe the body. Lets say if o r had a 8 month old small surgery scar. Also lets assume worst case scenario, a cut that was not fully healed and bleeds if aggravated. Also if towel was used to wipe anus area as well as penis.
Posted Fri, 23 Aug 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 4 hours later

Welcome to XXXXXXX
Thanks for posting the query.
HIV transmission through fomite and inanimate objects is negligible as per CDC,Atlanta even with the extreme incidents described by you. 8 months old scar is almost like that of any other part of skin. Wet towel with seminal stain and wiped over a cut and over bleeding wound or over the anus or penis then also the risk is negligible only. All these situations described by you are quite common in a health care setting,in HIV clinic, in a HIV infected children home and in a house where a HIV positive individual resides. Handling with bare hands over their scratches and wound care is quite common,but the HIV transmission through this mode is the rarest possibility.
So nothing to worry.
DR S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can HIV be transmitted through wet towel with semen? 1 hour later
Hello, I have an additional question. What are the biological reasons why hiv infection outside the body are only negligible ? I have read in other websites that it dies when exposed to air? Is this true? If so, how does it happen? How long does it take? I took an hiv test 11 months ago. It was negative. This has been my only exposure since then, do I need to test for hiv based on it? If I do, should I be concerned about a positive result? Thanks for your answer.
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 7 hours later
Welcome back.

Certain virus like HIV are highly fragile and can not be able to withstand the atmospheric XXXXXXX oxygen and dryness outside the body where it cannot be viable.
We can not say the exact time limit for its survival whereas it will be viable practically as long as the blood or body fluid gets dried totally. You need not bother about the timings of drying as the chances of transmission is very very remote.

If anybody remains negative for HIV 6 months after the risky exposure,they need not worry about HIV at all. As your test is negative after 11 months you need no more tests regarding HIV.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can HIV be transmitted through wet towel with semen? 38 minutes later
Hello Dr, I think you misunderstood me. I mean in regards to semen on a towel incident, I was never tested for that. I was wondering if I should be tested. The test 11 months ago happened after the towel exposure
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 25 minutes later
Welcome back

No more test for HIV is necessary for you.
But there is nothing wrong in going for the test as the negative result of the test will relieve your tension and gnawing thoughts about HIV.
Good day to you.
DR S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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