Can you get HIV from having a bodily fluid touch a bedsheet?

I recently slept in a generally unsanitary place where someone infected with HIV might’ve slept before me (a day or two at the least, definitely not minutes before).

They gave me new bedsheets but I don’t know whether they were properly washed.

I didn’t notice any blood stains.
Regardless of how the bodily fluid was secreted, if it touched the bedsheet and the secreting mechanism at the same time, is there a chance that I may have contracted HIV?

I recently developed something resembling canker sores although it could be hairy leukoplakia.

I am not a doctor etc etc, but:

Hairy leukoplakia? More likely googleitis. Even if you were infected with HIV by receptive anal intercourse with a gigolo two weeks ago, you still wouldn’t have hairy leukoplakia now.

HIV dies very quickly outside a human host. If he shed any viral particles onto that bed, they would have been inactivated long before you slept on them.

Also, it would take a while before you became immunocompromised enough to start seeing opportunistic infections like hairy leukoplakia show up. It is far more likely you just got a canker sore.

HIV is a fragile, temperamental little bug without a protein coat, and can’t live normally live outside the body for more than a few minutes, so a few days and it’s definitely dead.

Even if this were some sort of fresh secretion that had HIV in it, it would first, have to touch an open sore or wound, and, second, even if it did, you’d have to be extremely unlucky, because your immune system would probably destroy it before it even got into a cell and started reproducing.

Finally, even if, by some terrible chance, you were infected a few weeks ago, like Shmendrik said, the disease wouldn’t have spread so fast that you’d be getting opportunistic infections now.

If you’re concerned about it, you should get tested, of course, but I think you’re pretty safe.

  1. If you are worried about your health, see a doctor. Boilerplate.

  2. To get HIV in such a manner, the fluids would probably have to be less than a half hour fresh, and they’d also have to come into contact with your naked orifices (vagina/mouth/anus/sore/cut). Even then, unlikely. Certainly, old dry stains contacting with your skin would do nothing whatsoever.

  3. HIV can take up to 6 months to even be detectable, let alone symptomatic.

I thought we got rid of this kind of ignorance about HIV in the 80’s. Seriously? Infection from bedsheets?

Yes you do.

He didn’t know, so he asked. I think that’s admirable, and I don’t see the point in drawing attention to the fact that he didn’t know before he asked. None of us know things until we find them out.

If he can google “hairy leukoplakia”, he can google “HIV transmission”.

Sure, but people can google a lot of things they ask in GQ.

You’re correct - it really IS taking longer than we thought.

HIV is a lot less contagious than people think it is.

A blood transfusion from someone who is HIV positive has a 90% chance of causing infection. That’s the route with the highest chance of infection.

At number two is being born to a HIV infected mother, with a 25% chance of passing infection to the baby.

Everything else has pretty low numbers. Though the numbers add up if you keep doing it.

Receptive anal sex has about a 1-8% chance of passing the infection.
Straight sex has about a 0.1% to 1% chance of passing the infection.
Needle sharing has a bout a 0.6% chance of passing the infection.
Oral sex has about a 0.0005 to 0.001% chance of passing the infection.

So testing done between now and 6 months from now will be totally ineffective?

Would penile secretion (unintentional) coming into contact with the underwear, which the fluid may or may not have penetrated (or rather, the bedsheets’ germs may or may not have penetrated) be a likely host to such infections?

I’ve read this, like, 6 times and I still have no idea what it means. It sounds like you’re asking if penile secretions can host HIV. The answer is, of course, yes.

What suprises most people is how hard it is to catch. For instance, there’s never been a documented case of HIV infection spread through sharing even toothbrushes.

HIV is not very hardy outside the body.

What interesting is the OP said he might have a hairy leukoplakia, which is caused by an herpes virus and also associated with AIDS.

Which goes to show you a virus doesn’t have to be deadly, like HIV, a virus can just cause you misery for years and year and years, like the various herpes viruses can

Ok to put it blunt, if the penile secretion touched the bedsheet and the penis and the opening at the same time, can the virus be absorbed into the system through the penile secretion?

The numbers of infections are in the millions, world wide, for decades. None of the cases on record were from any sort of “ew, I touched it!” contacts, even with a known HIV positive source.


Not a single one of millions of cases.

It’s the sex part. Fluids from one body entering another body, and even in that case, it has to be semen, milk, blood, or lymph, and it has to enter the body through the mouth, anus, vagina, or an open cut or sore (that last has single digit numbers out of all those millions, and no one really believes the folks who said it was their only contact.)

The numbers of people who lie about their sexual habits is far larger than the numbers of entirely unexplained HIV transmissions.

It’s the fucking, mostly, and much higher rates with butt fucking, except two of the primarily African strains.

You are much more likely to have contracted Black Death from those sheets. Way more likely. Still unlikely enough to be totally silly to even think about, but much more likely than HIV.


So if you had sex with somebody through a sheet or something? The person put a sheet over his penis and then ejaculated into you, you mean? The bedsheet would be too porous to stop either semen or the virus. So don’t use a bedsheet as a condom.

On the other hand, if somebody who was HIV+ ejaculated on a bedsheet, and then you slept on the bedsheet a day later, you’d be safe, because, like I said, the HIV virus just can’t live that long.

If you’re not too embarrassed, why not tell us exactly what happened?

OK to put it blunt: the scenario as described in the OP - unlikely in the extreme that a person would be exposed to, much less contract HIV.

The question as quoted above is so garbled I don’t really follow what you mean:

You are not being very clear. What opening are you referring to?