[Question #7069] Toilet Paper, Porta Potty, am I overreacting??

9 months ago
Hello Doc,

Had a gross and kind of embarrassing moment. While at the beach, the urge to empty my bowels came up and I proceeded to the closest porta potty. I was kind of drunk and didn’t realize there was no TP in the dispenser. After realizing, I grabbed a piece off the floor and used it to wipe my anus. It didn’t looked stained or anything, but in the off chance it was used or infected, did I put myself at risk? (Main concern being HIV, but any std/sti) The TP most likely was sitting there for a few minutes if not longer. I know the virus is inactive pretty quick at room temp, but outside air temp was around 90, so a little hotter inside the porta potty.

I’m asking because I’ve been feeling kind of off lately. Mild headache, fatigue, slight tingling feeling in top of penis. It’s making my mind think irrationally I believe. This event was around 10 days ago. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
9 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be glad to comment. The use of the toilet paper you found on the floor of the porta-potty did not put you are risk for HIV or any other STI. Even if the paper were contaminated, they all would have become non-infectious by the time you used it.  No need for concern or for testing for HIV or other STIs.   Your symptoms are due to something else.

I hope this comment helps. Take care.  EWH

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9 months ago
Thanks for the quick reply doctor! I assume the conditions inside the porta potty make no difference? Temperature being close if not warmer than average body temp? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
9 months ago
Correct. the temperature and condition of the porta potty, as well as how long since it was last used would not change my assessment.  EWH
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