HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Open cut and sticky surface

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I share an apartment with a HIV+ guy. I touched the water faucet when I was cooking. The faucet was wet and sticky. Half a minute later I had my finger badly cut and it bled a lot. Could I catch the HIV virus from the wet and sticky faucet? If the faucet had been dry, I would not have worried about it. But it was wet and sticky and I suspect that there might be HIV+ semen on the faucet. (I have a good reason to think so but I will spare you with the details here)

My questions:
1.   How long can HIV virus live on a wet surface?
2.   Can I get infected via the way I described?

Thanks a lot


You do not get HIV from environmental surfaces. You had no risk what so ever.

Andy Velez:
Carl, you weren't at risk for HIV transmission in that incident. HIV is a very fragile virus and needs a receptive atmosphere like a vagina or an anus for transmission or directly into the bloodstream through a needle intravenously or a medical work accident.

Even IF the sticky substance on the faucet had been semen or blood from your friend, it would not have been viable.

It's understandable that you are concerned about your health.  But in the 25 years of the epidemic no one's become infected through the kind of casual circumstances you have described, and I am bearing in mind you have mentioned having a cut on your hand. If you haven't already done so, I suggest you read the lesson about Transmission on this site. You'll find a link to it in the Welcome thread which opens this site.

I'm glad you have raised this concern. There are probably other people with HIV who are in your life only you don't know it. As long as you follow the simple safer sex guidelines consistently you will be ok as far as HIV is concerned.

Doing that will also spare you this kind of unnecessary worrying and concern when you are with someone who's HIV+.

And no testing is necessary about this incident.



Is your kitchen faucet hiv positive? No? Didn't think so.

Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus that is quickly damaged outside the human body. When hiv is damaged, it can no longer infect. As Rodney says, you won't become infected through touching surfaces.

Please read through the Welcome Thread and follow and read the Transmission Lesson link so you can understand how hiv is and isn't transmitted.

Here's what else you need to know to avoid hiv infection: You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL STIs together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection. Sex with a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!



Thanks, all.

If fresh blood or semen directly deposits into a fresh open cut, how much blood/semen is needed for infection to occur? Does it need a lot of blood/semen? Or only a tiny amount of it will be enough?

Thanks a lot.



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