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Can you get HIV or something else from sex toys?

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  • Can you get HIV or something else from sex toys?

    I'm really scared right now.
    I'm scared that I might have put myself at risk by using sex toys (artificial vaginas, prostate massagers).

    I have always been kinda anxious about getting an STD from a sex toy in case that the online seller accidentally sold a used one which was refunded or that the seller buys from a source which sells used sex toys which are refurbished.
    I don't know how likely this is but just think about what's all happening in our times. I mean they fake drugs and plane parts. Why should they not also resell used sex toys!?

    Anway, I have always been told things like "You cannot get HIV from a sex toy which you buy online cause the virus would never survive such a long time".

    But now I heard about a story where a woman supposedly got HIV from a manicure and that scientists are now worrying that maybe the HIV virus actually survives MUCH longer on surfaces than we thought!

    Because of this I'm totally freaked out now. What if I really bought a sex toy which was used?
    I have never bought a sex toy which was sealed in plastic so that the customer knows for sure that it's really new and not used! I don't know why companies do not pay attention to something like this.
    Sex toys usually come in boxes which you can simply open and take it out!

    Anyway, most of the toys which I used I cleaned before use and sprayed an alcohol based disinfection spray on it. On the lable it says that it kills viruses in 20 seconds. So I thought that by doing this I'm on the safe side.

    BUT now I read that viruses are VERY hard to kill on surfaces like plastic and most sex toys are made of plastic which is porous! I have a few prostate massagers and they are all made of plastic!
    My concern is that all basically my disinfection attempts were totally useless because of the plastic material. I also bought an artificial vagina which is made of TPE or silicone.

    I am really totally freaked out now. What do I do now?
    I think I will throw all my toys away. I cannot use them anymore now. But the fear doesn't go away even if I throw them away cause I used them.

    Even if I wanted to get tested for STDs then how shall I do this?
    Can I simply go to my doc and tell him I want to get tested for all STDs and contagious diseases?
    But how shall I explain this? And I also don't know which STDs and contagious diseases should I get tested for and how long is the time which you have to wait before you can even test if you've caught it?

  • #2
    It's not clear what you are asking.
    Have purchased a sex toy recently?
    Have you purchased an Aneros toy recently.
    Not much good if you are just theorizing.

    It is quite common in many countries for people to simply ask for a STD test.


    • #3
      I would think that buying sex toys from a reputable online sex shop would be good enough.
      There's only so much precaution you can do to make sure you don't get infected.

      Beyond that, you are talking about chances and probabilities that are probably smaller than getting killed in a car crash.

      If you are really worried, you could maybe look at medical grade silicone toys (the platiunum cured kind, many that claim to be medical sillicone are allegedly not). Some people put the toy in a sauce-pan with boiling water, and put it on the stove to boil for 20+ minutes. Or they use things like toilet bleach for 5 minutes and then wash + rinse thoroughly. I don't think any of Aneros products could survive that sort of cleaning, but I do know that many people do that with their Bad Dragon dildos.

      You could maybe dilute toilet bleach and wash the aneros device in that, but please please wear gloves and be careful not to splash the bleachy water in your eyes / mouth.

      You are probably not infected.

      If you have a strong reason to believe that your toys have been tampered with before you took delivery (I would think extremely rare), you could get tested. Ask your Doc for advice.


      • #4
        @Dunz Dude, you are freaking yourself out over NOTHING ...

        From Aid for Aids of Nevada:

        "HIV is a very fragile virus outside of the body. The HIV virus needs the human body as its host. The life span of HIV outside of the body has not been determined. However, we know that HIV needs its host cell (a human), the body temperature, and the chemistry of the blood to survive. Out of the body, HIV is out of its environment. As the blood dries, the HIV will die.

        Just remember, outside of the body HIV can't survive. In minutes it will die and be harmless ..."

        The chances of any virus or other disease surviving the shipping are so small as to not be measurable.


        • #5

          The chances of any virus or other disease surviving the shipping are so small as to not be measurable.

          Not only that, but that assumes that the toy will already be infected.... why would it be infected if it comes from a factory....


          • #6
            Dude have you been buying used toys online. That's kinda nasty!!!!! If in doubt go get tested. Good Luck!!!!


            • #7

              no I do not buy USED toys online!

              But I am worried because many toys which I bought for example at amazon came in a very simple wrapping which does NOT guarantee that they are new at all! This is the fault of the sex toy companies which obviously do not care about safety very much.

              My worry is that I absolutely did not know that it's very hard to disinfect porous surfaces and some of the toys I bought were made of jelly which is porous!
              This means that spraying alcohol on these toys probably did not do much at all.

              And rubber pussies also cannot be disinfected. I mean what if somebody used one of those vaginas which I bought before and came in it and then rinsed it and sent the item back saying he didn't use it and the seller sells it again as new?

              And I am also worried because of the story of a woman who supposedly got HIV from a manecure! If this is true and if the virus could survive long enough on manecure equipment then this means that the virus does NOT die that quickly outside of the body.

              And what about other diseases like Hepatitis C? I have no idea how long this virus can survive outside of the body. There are viruses which can live for weeks or months! The rabies virus can survive many months!


              • #8
                @dunz, you are either infected or you are not infected. Draw a line in the sand, step over it and move on. Your level of worry is going to break up your immune system which will make you more exposed and vulnerable to the micro world that swirls around us.
                PS the bathmates do add body.


                • #9
                  I have never heard of a company that accepts returns of sex toys. I've always seen "all sales are final". Don't fret, my friend. You'll be fine.


                  • #10

                    The liability of reselling a used sex toy makes the practice unthinkable from an economic perspective. Should someone become infected as a result of a resold contaminated toy you're talking a prison term and fine for the seller. As a result the vast majority of vendors of these items avoid the perception of "used goods" entirely with the addition of an "all sales final" condition of sale.

                    Although it's rare to find sellers who will give refunds on this kind of merchandise those who do require that you render the product non-functional or return a piece of the item (in essence rendering it non-functional). The reason for this is two-fold: it proves that you are no longer using the item (no freebie) and confirms that the item has been taken out of circulation.

                    I would add that we live in a litigious society, and if there had ever been an incident like this, it would have been widely covered in the media and been tried in court by now. Again, the conditions of sales on these items makes this impossible.

                    If you are purchasing from long established on line or brick and mortar stores, you won't have a problem. If you're buying on eBay, it's a different story as many of the sellers are private individuals so you will probably never know for certain what you have.

                    With respect to sanitizing your toys, if they're made of silicone they can be boiled, and 3 to 5 minutes is all that you need. In terms of a chemical solution, wash first with soap and water then soak in 600ppm solution of Clorox* to water - 2 tablespoons bleach to one gallon of water Let it soak for 2 to 5 minutes, air dry, rinse well and you're done! This solution will kill the following microoganisms:

                    Staphylococcus aureus (Staph.)
                    Salmonella choleraesuis
                    Pseudomonas aeruginosa
                    Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep.)
                    Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli)
                    Shigella dysenteriae
                    Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
                    Trichophyton mentagrophytes (can cause Athlete’s Foot)
                    Candida albicans (a yeast)
                    Rhinovirus Type 37 (a type of virus that can cause colds)
                    Influenza A (Flu virus)
                    Hepatitis A virus
                    Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
                    HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)*
                    Herpes simplex Type 2
                    Rubella virus
                    Adenovirus Type 2

                    Oklahoma State University; Food & Agricultural Products Research & Technology Center
                    University of California; UC Food Safety
                    *Clorox has been phasing out their old Regular Bleach formula and have introduced “Concentrated Clorox® Regular Bleach”, which is the same Clorox bleach product, just more concentrated. The concentration of sodium hypochlorite has increased from 6% to 8.25%. The formula I've shown relates to the current production Concentrated Regular Bleach containing 8.25% sodium hypochlorite - look for the concentration on the label. Note you may still see different sanitizing formulas on line that still use the 6% value.


                    BF Mayfield


                    • #11
                      Brian...thanks for the above info...I read somewhere on a medical website that 20 minutes of boiling is recommended for that more aggressive than sanitation? Is sterilization, really necessary? After each session the first thing I do is wash ANEROS with soap and water and boil for 20 min.

                      I've never tried Clorox method...I may switch to that...a lot easier!


                      • #12

                        Sanitizing/disinfection generally refers to a 99% reduction of pathogenic microorganisms while sterilization usually refers to the 100% elimination of all microbes, including spores. To answer your question with regard to the Aneros, sterilization is not necessary. An item that's been effectively sanitized is cleaner than just about everything we normally come in contact with. Ultimately all we really need be concerned with is cleaning to the extent that we have eliminated the capacity for an item to produce disease.


                        BF Mayfield


                        • #13
                          Brian...thanks for the informative clarification!


                          • #14

                            @dunz, I can't tell if you are putting us on or if you are really this paranoid. How do you trust using utensils in restaurant, or buying vegetables from a grocery store ?

                            @anlcomplsv, I find your comment very funny. I will now wear a helmet when leaving my home for fear of getting hit with a meteorite.

                            And I am also worried because of the story of a woman who supposedly got HIV from a manecure! If this is true and if the virus could survive long enough on manecure equipment then this means that the virus does NOT die that quickly outside of the body.

                            @Dunz, This sounds like an Urban legend. Do some research and determine for yourself how long the HIV virus lives outside the body. Or believe Mr. Mayfield's advice above.

                            1. It is very extremely unlikely that the toy you purchased is used.
                            2. If it was used, it is unlikely that the person who used it had a virus.
                            3. If they had a virus, it is extremely unlikely that the virus survived shipping/storage
                            4. You clean your toys before use.