Q. Can I get an HIV infection while swimming in the ocean with an HIV-infected person?

Answered by
Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 29, 2021

Hello doctor,

My friend and I had open wounds while divining in the ocean. My friend is HIV positive. Our wounds were not in contact. However, we were near each other in the water. Should I be worried about getting infected if my friend's blood in the ocean water got into my open wound as we were swimming near one another in the ocean?

Thank you.



Welcome to

1) HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) virus cannot survive outside the human body.

2) For HIV to be transmitted, there needs to be sexual contact with HIV infected person, or it can be transmitted through blood transfusion or exchange of contaminated syringes or needles.

3) Just with assumed touching of blood, the virus cannot be transmitted.

4) For potential transmission, it requires inoculation of a sufficient amount of blood with high viral content.

5) If your friend is positive for HIV, he or she will be under treatment irrespective of CD4 (T cells) count status. And, once therapy is initiated, the virus gets undetectable in blood within three to six months of regular treatment.

6) There is no chance of the acquisition of HIV in such a scenario.

You can surely relax if it is limited to this situation. Please revert if there is any further question.

Best wishes.

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