[Question #5822] HIV - Still Accurate

18 months ago
Hi - I am a 36 year old male who has anal HSV-1 (blood test confirmed). I am extremely worried about getting HIV from toilet paper, sitting down (i.e. on chairs, car seats, the train etc...), wash cloths, towels and shared washing machines, due to my anal HSV-1. Is the below information with regards to HIV still accurate if you have anal HSV-1: 

"All you need to know to avoid HIV your entire life:  choose your sex partners with care, use condoms for intercourse with new or potentially unsafe partners, and do not share drug injection equipment with anyone."

"All you need do to prevent HIV is to not have unprotected sex with partners at risk and not share drug injection equipment.  Nothing else matters."

I'm married for 11 years and have a two year old son. I only have unprotected sex with my wife and do not do drugs. Thank you for your valuable service. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
18 months ago
Welcome to our forum.  I am not sure I see a specific question here but it appears that you worry about risk for acquisition of HIV through contact with inanimate objects.  The scientific fact is that there is no evidence that transmission occurs though contact with a contaminate toilet seat, contaminated toilet paper, or other inanimate objects.  I agree with the two quotes you provide.  EWH---
18 months ago
My question is - given the fact that I have anal HSV-1, how can I avoid getting HIV? Do I need to do anything specific since I have anal HSV-1? How do I avoid getting HIV given the fact that I have anal HSV-1?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
18 months ago
If your wife is your only sex partner and she does not have HIV, you are not at risk for HIV. Your anal HSV is irrelevant.  HIV is not acquired from toilet paper, toilet seets or sitting on chairs that persons with HIV have sat on.  EWH---
18 months ago
Thanks for the replies Dr. Hook.  Since I got Anal HSV-1 about 13 years ago, I have been extremely worried about getting HIV and try to do everything not to get it.  My concern is that HSV-1 increases your risk of acquiring HIV.  Could you spell it out for me how I never get HIV the rest of my life despite having Anal HSV-1?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
18 months ago
HSV-1 only increases your risk for acquisition of HIV if you are exposed.  Even then the increment is only modest and the VAST majority of persons with rectal herpes who are exposed to HIV do not become infected.  You state that you are monogamous and thus are not exposed.  As I mentioned above, you seem to have a misperception that HIV can be acquired from toilet seats of other inanimate objects- that is simply not the case.

As I suspect you know, we provide up to three response to each client's questions.  This is my 3rd response. therefore this thread will now be closed without further responses.  I hope that the information I have provided will be helpful to you. EWH
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