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A 23-year-old female asked:

i used toilet tissue that potentially touched a sanitary bin. am i at risk of catching anything?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Gordon
Specializes in Adolescent Medicine
Probably not: All surfaces are non-sterile. And your body (unless you have AIDS or something along those lines) has multiple defense mechanisms to protect yourself against the myriad pathogenic organisms out there. A gentle touch of toilet tissue up against a bin which had contained some sanitary napkins doesn't seem to qualify as a grave danger!
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
No: Just no. Environmental surfaces don't carry HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Unlikely: Unless the toilet paper was visibly soiled and wet you are at very low risk of catching anything. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Drink enough water daily, so that your urine is mostly colorless. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex. Get HPV vaccine.

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Last updated Feb 6, 2017

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