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HIV virus survival in bodily fluids outside the body
Apr 15, 2011

Hi, I've found various replies on this site ( eg. http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Workplace/Q47612.html ) that any wet liquid capable of transmitting HIV should be considered as potentionally infectious. I'm not refering to any specific situation I'm just asking because I'm confused. There is a lot information telling different things. I know how fragile the virus is, I know it can't withstand chemical and physical changes and you can only be infected when in enters your blood stream or comes in contact with your mucous membrane. I also know that virus is destroyed almost immediately in the air but what about his persistance in bodily fluids? Do you find that reply I posted above competent? Should really be all bodily fluids which are not dry yet considered infectious?

Thanks in advance.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I agree with the information in the post. It does not refer to "all bodily fluids," but rather specifically to "blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk." There are some bodily fluids; such as tears, sweat, and urine; which do not transmit HIV. As for how long HIV remains viable outside the body, there are many variables, including the viral load, type of fluid, ambient room temperature and humidity, etc.

Dr. Bob



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