Is HIV transmitted from a spot of blood on a door handle, toilet seat etc?

It is extremely unlikely, as HIV is a fragile virus that does not survive for very long outside of the human body.

If HIV-infected blood is present, the transmission of HIV in a household or other setting, such as public toilets or hospitals, is rare. So that the virus can possibly enter, an open cut or wound needs to come directly into contact with the spot of blood.

HIV is not transmitted through ordinary daily activities, such as shaking hands or a casual kiss. You also cannot catch HIV from:

  • contact with healthy, unbroken skin
  • spitting, sneezing or coughing
  • sharing household items, such as toilet seats, baths, towels or cutlery
  • using the same toilets or swimming pools
  • mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • contact with animals or insects, such as mosquitoes

Read more information about the causes of HIV and AIDS.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 28/06/2013

Next review due: 28/06/2015