One reader asks our sexual health expert Jose Perez De La Cruz, whether he is at risk of getting HIV from sharing a bath.
I recently stayed at someone’s house in the morning I had a bath before I left. I didn’t know at the time (nor did he), but the lad has since told me that he’s been tested HIV positive and it was likely that he caught it before our meet up.
The hook up we had was pretty safe. We used condoms and I’ve heard that you can’t get HIV from blowjobs, so I’m assuming I’m okay.
I’m worried about the bath. can I catch HIV or any other infection from using the same bathtub as someone else?
I was in there for a good 30 minutes. Plenty of time for an infection to get in me.
Relax. There is absolutely no chance you can catch HIV from a bath. HIV is a very fragile virus and would be dead within seconds even in normal air so such an environment would probably make this even quicker.
To catch HIV requires exposure to blood, semen, vaginal fluid, prostatic fluid (pre-cum) or contaminated breast milk. Even without allowing for the aforementioned fragility of the virus if one of these fluids, by some unlikely chance, had made its way into the bath water it would be so diluted that it would be unable to infect you.
The same applies to most other infections, bath water is not a very good medium for the growth of sexually transmitted pathogens.
There is a very small risk you can catch HIV from blowjobs, the risk being slightly higher if you are giving the blowjob and the person ejaculates in your mouth.
As standard advice only, if you have any concerns about any sexual contact you have had I would recommend you attend your nearest sexual health clinic for a sexual health screen.
Did you know you can order an at-home HIV test online? Click here to buy one
INFORMATION PROVIDED FOR BY JOSE PEREZ DE LA CRUZ
The advice listed above is not intended to replace or take the place of that of your own doctor, GP or medical professional who knows your full medical history. If in any doubt make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
The advice given in this article is for guidance only and you should always seek your own independent, professional medical advice from your own GP if you are concerned about your health.
Got a problem you’d like advice on?
For more information about sexual health and HIV, visit www.tht.org.uk or call THT Direct (a free, confidential helpline) on 0808 802 1221