Waste Disposal

Be careful when handling bodily wastes from an HIV-infected person. Safe disposal will help you and others avoid infection.

Flush all body waste (urine, vomit, etc.) that contains blood in the toilet. Be careful not to make splashes while pouring liquids into the toilet. Toilet paper and tissues with blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or breast milk should also be flushed down the toilet.

Paper towels, diapers, wound dressings and bandages, sanitary pads and tampons, and other items that cannot be flushed should be put in plastic bags, closed, and sealed. Ask a doctor, nurse, or local health department about how to dispose of items contaminated with blood, urine, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid, or breast milk. If you don’t have plastic bags handy, wrap the materials in enough newspaper to stop any leaks. Wear gloves when handling anything with blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk.

© Copyright FamilyCare America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Adapted from Caring for Someone with AIDS at Home: A Guide, ACTIS Publication No. D817, United States Department of Health and Human Services, AIDS Clinical Trial Information Service.

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