[Question #2214] HIV

44 months ago

Hello and thank you to whoever read this.  Please forgive my ignorance but I need to ask a couple of questions about HIV risk.  If one masturbates using the hand that had just used a dirty computer mouse, which had dirty food and grease built up on it where the finger tips touch, is there a risk of contracting HIV?  Others had touched the mouse, just not in the last day or two.

This last question may sound strange. While in the shower I observed a drain fly which landed on me at different points.  I have a number of sores on my arms, and if the fly had touched those, or my penis or anus could this transmit HIV?  I am concerned as drain flies live in and off sewage and was not sure if it could be contaminated. 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
Welcome to our forum and thanks for your confidence in our service.  I'll be glad to comment.  Misunderstandings about HIV and how it is transmitted are common with many people thinking that it is transmitted much more easily than is actually the case.  For all practical purposes, HIV is transmitted only through penetrative genital, or ano-genital sexual intercourse and through infection of infected material deep into tissue There are also VERY rare cases when HIV has been acquired by persons who performed oral sex (fellatio or blow jobs) on infected men but this is estimated to occur only once in every 10,000 acts of oral sex with an infected person, proving just how rare it is).  Thus even contact such as kissing (even open mouth kissing), mutual masturbation in which it is common for persons to get each other's genital secretions on one another, or rubbing your eye or putting your finger in your mouth after it has gotten HIV-infected genital secretions does not lead to infection.  It is also not transmitted trough contact of infected material on sores or skin rashes. 

HIV is not transmitted by activities of daily life such as touching in the context of hugging, shaking hands or touching.  it is also not transmitted by touching inanimate objects (like toilet seats or counter tops) contaminated by infected secretions or blood, or by sharing eating utensils or drinking from a glass that has just been used by a person with untreated HIV.  Finally, it is definitively not transmitted by insect bites or contact including by garbage flies or from mosquito bites.  Thus touching a dirty mouse computer or cleaning a drain will not put you at risk for HIV.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  EWH
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