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possible mode of transmission
Jan 17, 2001

I feel embarrassed and I apologize for asking such a borderline ignorant question but it's a necessity at this point because I am driving myself crazy. Please just clarify for me one more time if there is any possible way of transmission in the following scenario. I cut my finger badly, and the stitches re-opened one night. I went into my roommates bathroom and used a towel to stop the bleeding. As I was doing this I noticed some older blood on the towel. This being said, I confronted him after and he said he cut himself shaving 12+hours ago. There is no reason for me to think he is HIV positive. If I hadn't been studying HIV and if I hadn't got sick about 6 weeks later I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But, if it was the absolute worst case scenario and I swiped my cut finger with a droplet of his old blood and he was HIV positive, after 15 or so hours on that little blood, is it possible that HIV could have survived?

Response from Mr. Kull

It's unlikely that you would have been infected by blood left on a towel. Besides the fact that it is unlikely that your friend is HIV infected, HIV does not remain viable (infectious) when exposed to the environment for very long. Please read through How long does HIV survive outside the body? for more information on this topic.

If we're talking worst case scenario, then yes, it is possible. But worst case scenarios rarely happen and there is no evidence that people have been infected with HIV this way.

RMK



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