Londongirl, the link is not working, so I am not sure what the question is.
I had always incorrectly considred Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)to be not terribly hardy, but two of my resources both suggest 7 days of survival outside the body, with spread by inanimate objects possible. (APHA Contol of Communicable Diseases Manual) Also this CDC link; http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/b/faqb.htm
It is pretty easy to inactivate (kill) the virus on simple surfaces, but decontaminating things like needles, and instruments with little nooks and crannies takes ALOT more care.
Hmm scary stuff. Personally I was vaccinated for work about 9 years ago, but this info is in contrast to what I had previously understood, which was that one would actually have to have body fluids enter the body through a wound/cut, via sexual activities or through contaminated needles/sharps. I would not have expected to be at risk from Hep B, say from a surface on which blood had been present but had been cleaned off.
So re infection from inanimate objects, is there any data about in what situations this could actually pose an infection risk to the individual?
Your previous understanding is still the truth.
The risk of getting an infection from a non porous surface that has had blood contamination, if properly cleaned would be pretty much zero. The right bleach solution for the right time etc. Casual contact with the surface with intact skin after simple cleaning also should be very low risk. Infectious material must come into contact with broken skin or mucous membranes.
Is the transmission of HBV likely from other objects? It depends…HBV transmission in households has been suggested through the use of communal razor blades or toothbrushes, but I think that is very unusual. Keep in mind that these objects had no special cleaning between uses. If a person was very infectious, and had some gum bleeding during brushing or a bad shaving experience and a non-infected person used the object as it was intended shortly after that, infection could happen from this exposure.
The most common modes of transmission do remain without a doubt, IVDU, perinatal and sexual. Viral persistence in the environment is mostly pertinent to the risk relative to tattoo, acupuncture, and certain types of pressure vaccination systems to the best of my knowledge, and is manageable with proper care, cleaning and the use of disposables.
The risk due to exposure through the shared use of sex toys is difficult to assess, but does in theory exist. Keep in mind the amount of HBV in seminal fluid and vaginal fluid is lower than that of blood, and saliva lower still. Under the right circumstances though only a little HBV may be all that is needed to make a new case of infection. So as stated earlier toys should be used with a barrier, if shared at all.
Good post Barbarosa, I don't think it was overly long as all the information in it was relevant and clearly expressed.
So, let me summarise here for anyone wanting basic guidelines, in relation to sexual health, this information is relevant to the hygienic use of sex toys (i.e. don't share them, buy them new from a reputable source).
It is not thought possible to catch hepatitis B through casual contact, and although it can persist on surfaces, these would need to come into contact with a wound or mucous membranes for infection to occur.
This link should take you to a Hepatitis B foundation site that has good HBV prevention tips as well as other useful information too. http://www.hepb.org/02-0176.hepbPosts: 380 | From: Up North, Wisconsin | Registered: Sep 2004
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whew, thanks for covering for me, Barbarosa.
and Londongirl, the Hep B thing was news to me too, till I was in a Hep training. And yes, I too have the APHA Control of Communicable Diseases Manual in my hot li'l hands (the actual citation is on pg 246, second paragraph).
The more I read about Hep, the scarier it is to me, and I've already been vax'd!
Well, the scary side was why I raised it - I thought it would be good to have some discussion up on the boards about what this actually means for the average person, because I think "hep B virus can survive outside the body for a week" is a statement that could make some people panic. I'm leaving risks through work out of it as I think that's a whole separate issue, which is not relevant to other people.
I think we have to remember that we and our world do have bacteria and viruses on us, but that is not necessarily harmful, indeed the 'good' bacteria are necessary.
It seems that although the hep B virus can survive on a dry surface, for the average person, it is only when that dry surface is something like a sex toy which is likely to have a lot of contact with mucous membranes that there is much opportunity for transmission. I'd hate anyone to falsely think they need to be scared of toilet seats.
"There's no place like home, there's no place like home..."
Many ages ago I learned to use a research technique to detect one copy of DNA amongst billions. Its biggist problem for me was it was too sensitive. ANY contamination will screw with your findings, so being meticulous isnt good enough. So just because we can detect it, and under expeimental conditions can creat infection does not mean it will translate into real world threat. Well, er not always anyhow...
When we start to get all google-eyed over the scary possibilities that a scientific finding leads to it is often reassuring to look at how the infection behaves in real life. Epidemiologists make a living of this (Thank you and God bless you Dr. Snow).
It can be reassuring to look at how houshold contacts get infected or dont get infected in these cases. HIV and HBV are good examples.
I did two medline searches last night and had no hits on sex toy transmission of HBV. I may try some other search terms later today as time permits.
I am not throwing away my body condom yet, but at least for now, hand washing, responsible behavior, good diet and exercise appear to offer a good measure of protection from many of the worst infectious diseases.
Oh yeah, enough sleep too, this means you Gumdrop, grad students are not exempt from fatigue induced problems!
[This message has been edited by Barbarosa (edited 10-06-2004).]
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