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Virus In Water
Sep 24, 2001

When we talk about how infectious the infected blood is when exposed to air, we normally know that the HIV virus dies after the blood dries up.

But what about if the blood is present in a bottle of mineral water? And I drank it? I mean the blood won't be able to dry up in this case, so will the HIV virus also die in this case?

Please reply as I have post this question over and over again! I beg you reply!

Response from Dr. Remien

You are asking about a rather unusual scenario. I am not a "medical" expert, but I will say this to you. I am not aware of any reports of HIV transmission by "ingesting" blood in water. HIV is most commonly transmitted when there is either direct blood-to-blood contact or sexually. Even with sexual tranmsission the virus ultimately will end up in contact with the blood in the circulatory system. That is why there is greater risk for anal than with vaginal sex (blood capillaries are closer to the surface in the rectum) and/or when there are cuts or tears in mucosal membranes which have come in contact with the virus. There is evidence that digestive enzymes would help to kill the virus. So while the scenario you present is an interesting one - transmission is not impossible, but probably unlikely.

Again, I am not a "medical" expert and this is not a complete answer. Please go to the "Safe Sex, Prevention and Transmission" forum on this website to learn more about transmission risk and try to speak with a medical expert about your concern.


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