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What are the ways of HIV transmission?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 13645 Questions
For Dr. XXXXXXX Grief.
I am selectively germophobic for STDs. This began 5 years ago after giving part time care to a relative (cousin) who passed away from hiv/253657?iL=true" >AIDS. Prior to this I was never germophobic. Am in totally monogamous heterosexual marriage for 40 years. This is not a sexual problem.
My question: Had 2 guests in my home. I have no knowledge of any STDs that they might have. Both guests used my bathroom. About 3 hours later I went into the bathroom to urinate and lifted up the seat with 2 fingers. I then decided to shave and turned on water in sink. But without thinking I just briefly rinsed my hands without soap without drying and began to apply water to my face prior to shaving. A bit of this water seeped into my mouth before I realized that I had neglected to properly wash my hands with soap and water. Being germophobic I immediately began to worry.
But my wife who is a registered nurse told me that even if the toilet seat had STD bacteria/virus from use 3 hours earlier, the pathogens for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia would long since have
been rendered non infective after 3 hours. CAN YOU REASSURE ME OF THIS. There was no OBVIOUS evidence of any blood or fluid on the toilet seat when I touched it and I did use a bit of toilet paper to lift the seat but I feel this might not have protected me enough.
Posted Sat, 3 Nov 2012 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 9 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

HIV is transmitted by contact with a persons blood,semen,vaginal fluids. breast milk and in some cases tears.These infected body fluids must come into contact with an infected persons body fluids for the virus to be transmitted.
The CDC in XXXXXXX has conducted alot of studies looking at the level of the HIV virus outside the body and found that the levels are reduced by 99% over a few hours.
There has never been a case of a person who has been infected by contact with an enviromental surface.

Chlamydia is an organism that has specific requirements that allow it to survive in the genital tract, because of these requirements it cannot survive outside the body for longer than 45 minutes according to medical studies that have been done and infection is to you would not be possible.

Syphillis and gonorrhoea are similiar to chlamydia .They also require specific enviroment to survive and cannot survive outside of the body for extended periods.Both of these bacteria, if they had been present, would have been long gone when you used the bathroom

I hope this helps,feel free to ask any other questions
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