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Life of HIV virus
Oct 5, 1998

Hi! How long can the HIV virus survive outside the human body? What conditions need to be present in order for the virus to live?

Thank you for your help.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

If blood (cells or Plasma) is frozen in liquid nitrogen, HIV can last indefinitely. Once thawed it will be infectious. In the short term, HIV requires living cells to survive and propogate. Infected cells or plasma can be removed from people and placed in a test tube with some nutrients to support cell growth. HIV will grow in the test tube for weeks as long as fresh uninfected cells and more nutrients are added. Finally, HIV can survive for only a short while in blood spills (minutes to hours). This all depends on the temperature and the volume of blood or liquid and the amount of HIV present in the liquid. MH



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