1. Health

Can You Get HPV from Sitting on a Toilet Seat?

By January 22, 2009

Follow me on:

"My friend who was recently diagnosed with HPV has only been with one person who does not have HPV. She thinks she may have gotten HPV from sitting on a toilet seat. Can you really get HPV by sitting on a toilet seat?"
-Jessica K., Maryland

Jesssica's question is very common. There are a lot of myths floating around about how you can and cannot get HPV. Find out the answer to Jessica's question about HPV and toilet seats here.

More About HPV:

Photo by WP Tan
January 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm
(1) Frank says:

Possibly if the man’s penis accidentally touched the seat or front edge of toilet when sitting to have a BM. I have accidentally touched my member to the edge of the toilet seat, but quickly cleansed the tip before continuing with my business. The virus may live on the toilet and can be passed on to a women if the man did not clean his penis.

August 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm
(2) Jennifer says:

You know, the fact of the matter is that no one really knows the answer. Everyone I talk to has there own opinion. So, I am here to say “yes, yes you can” get it from a toilet seat. I am 20 years old. And never been sexually active. I have just recently been diagnosed with HPV. And the only way for me to have gotten it would be my 22 years old sister who was diagnosed 1.5 years ago. The only thing that she and I share is the bathroom. So, when some say “no, no you can’t”! I say “false”! They really just don’t know.

September 29, 2010 at 12:05 am
(3) W says:


September 29, 2010 at 10:38 am
(4) DrFlorinbergPHD says:

You know as memeber of this profession it is still all new to us. Yet I personally have heard and seen cases of some of the stories here. Going out on a limb. I will say this. If and only if and infected person uses the toilet and comes in contact with their infected discharge, there is a small window of hours that someone can get infected. So, case and point. If you know that information in advance, learn to get in the habit of wiping toilet seats down before you use them.

October 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm
(5) Laura says:

You can catch it through coming in contact with a seat that an infected person has come in contact with. If somehow their discharge whether male or female were to be left behind on the seat, the virus can and will life long enough that if someone were to come into contact with it, they can get infected. Truth is docs don’t know. They use the same method of the transmission of HIV and look what we found out about that. So, yes you can contract it. Don’t let them tell you any different. Start wiping down the seats.

November 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm
(6) Upset says:

Not only can you get it by using a toilet that hasn’t been sanitized before using it. Alot of people are forgeting about using the same razor. Especially us ladies that shave that bikini area. Using the same razor to shave can also allow you to catch it. So be leary of toilets and razors. Most doctors won’t tell you this because they don’t want to cause a panic like the HIV panic in the 80′s.

November 14, 2010 at 7:38 pm
(7) Brandy says:

Listen you guys. Yes you can get it from a toilet seat, but the time frame is limited. My advise to everyone is always carry antibacterial wiped with you when you go out in public. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you know anyone, live with, or date with it. Their fluids or discharge is all you need to get it. So, be careful out there!

December 7, 2010 at 4:40 am
(8) Chinelo O says:

you cant get HPV by sitting on a toilet seat. the disease can only stay out the body for so long. you can only get it by skin-to-skin contact like oral, anal, or vaginal sex.

January 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm
(9) responding to chinelo says:

listen! you just said you can’t because it ” can only stay out of the body for so long “. If someone were to come into contact with whatever may be infected “yes” they can catch it. The window is not so big. but, the window is there.

January 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm
(10) colegekidzzzzzz says:

Can I just tell you how excited I am to find this site. At least now I know that I am not alone. And, that I’m not crazy. I am diagnosed positive with the genital wart strand of HPV. I am 20 years old. I am a junior in college. And “yes”, I am a virgin. But here I am, diagnosed positive for HPV. How does this happen? I interviewed some who knew where it came from yet there were a surprising number that didn’t know. Kinda like me! I found in most cases that a lot of them had the same set of circumstances. Whether they shared a bathroom, a shower, grooming items, toys, or in some cases even undergarments. Interesting I thought. Now some say you can only catch it through skin to skin contact. Some will say you could possibly get infected when coming in contact with blood or fluids that have been infected and letting it come in contact with a cut, scratch, or opening on your skin. And then, there are the few in the medical profession that just “don’t know”. And privately, I’ve been told that they really don’t have all the facts to be positive on how it’s contracted. So, I’m a junior in college. With no other sexual intercourse with anyone other than myself. Getting school done first. My momma raised me right! With that being said, I share the showers and bathroom with other guys and girls in this dorm. Currently, I have talked to almost everyone that stays here about whether they knew if they’ve been diagnosed with HPV. And to my surprise 13 have. Out of the 13 that were positive they were positive, 7 of them use the same restroom and showers that I do. Outta of the 13, 8 caught it through intimate relations. But, the other 5 had no clue? So, it sounds that there may be a bigger potential problem than what we are being led to believe. How can something like this happen? Start putting two and two together. Let common sense be your guide. And let it help you, me, and anyone else in this same boat find the answers that we need. Be Safe in all that you do. God Bless!

January 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm
(11) sally says:

I don’t about toilets. But I got it from using the same razor to shave my bikini area!

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.