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semen exposed to air

Jan 5, 2003

About how long does the virus live after being exposed to the air? Is is safe to orally consume semen after it has been ejaculated?

Response from Mr. Kull

The length of virus survival when exposed to the environment will vary depending on multiple factors that are impossible to predict for every situation. What we do know is that HIV does not survive long when exposed to the environment (see Survival...), and people do not seem to become infected through contact with fluids in the environment. Remember, the CDC has only documented adult transmission through sex (anal, vaginal, oral) and contact with blood (primarily needle-sharing).

This does not mean that you should be getting semen in your mouth after a person ejaculates. Since it is unlikely that infected fluids would immediately lose their ability to transmit HIV, it's best to avoid fluid-mucous membrane contact even shortly after the fluids leave a person's body. Just to be on the safe side (it's still not a significant risk).


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