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Life of HIV virus?
Jun 26, 2005

Dear Robert,

I know my question might sound a little stupid to you. But I really hope that you can give me some information to help calm me down.

My underwear was somehow contaminated by somebody's blood the day before yesterday. Later, I put it into the laundry machine with some other clothes . I washed them in normal washing cycle (cold water cycle with normal detergent), and dried them in normal drying cycle too. Today I wear this cleaned underwear again. But I began to worry in a sudden. If the pants were contaminated by a HIV positive guy's blood, could this normal washing and drying cycle that I used kill all the HIV virus? Should I discard this underwear? Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Perhaps the real question here shouldn't be whether HIV can survive a trip through the Maytag, but rather how did your tighty whities get "contaminated by somebody's blood?!?"

Oh well, I'm not here to pose questions, but rather to provide answers, so on to your query. Would a normal washing and drying cycle kill HIV on a pair fashion undies? As they say in Australia, no worries, Mate!! HIV would not exist on machine-washed 2(x)ist!

Stay well. (By the way, "2(x)ist" are a popular brand of fashion undies in case you weren't familiar with the reference above).

Dr. Bob



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