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med student question-- clarification regarding dried blood, cdc facts and hiv , and hep c vaccine.
May 27, 2011

Hello Dr. Frascino, how are you? I have not been on this site for some time. I am happy to see that you are doing well, I hope that your CD4 count is keeping up.

The reason why I am calling, is for clarification. I had some new tiles put in my parent's home today. The contractor cut his hand, and ater 8 hours I took a damp cloth and wiped up the dried blood thinking oh godness me!, hiv does not last in dried blood , in fact mot likely it dies 10-12 minutes outside of the body, not to worry.

Then I got curious wondering if any other pathogens can last in dried blood. While my logic said no, nothing lasts in dried blood here is what the CDC has to say about dried blood in relation to HEP C:

"How long does the Hepatitis C virus survive outside the body?

"The Hepatitis C virus can survive outside the body at room temperature, on environmental surfaces, for at least 16 hours but no longer than 4 days."

So if I had a recently health cut on my finger and I touched dried blood or wiped it with a damp cloth , I could technically be putting myself at risk according to CDC facts?

(sorry forgoet this part in last e-mail):

What is your opinion of hep c vaccine by synthetic mimicry of the virus? Good idea?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

It is true that as far as blood-borne pathogens are concerned hepatitis C virus (HCV) is heartier and survives longer outside the body than HIV. The duration of survival depends on ambient room temperature, humidity, viral strain, etc. Your risk for acquiring HCV, although theoretically possible, is so remote that it becomes essentially nonexistent. I see no cause for alarm or even screening for HCV and/or HIV. However, both test are readily available if my reassurance is insufficient for you to put any residual fears to rest.

As for a hepatitis C vaccine, there are multiple strategies being pursued. I'm in strong support of anything that works and can be readily and quickly available to the public. HCV remains a somewhat hidden epidemic. New treatments for HCV are rapidly becoming available but the need for a preventative vaccine remains crucial.

Dr. Bob



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