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HIV from dried (and washed) blood on clothing "Contact with infected blood"

Jan 29, 2012

Good evening Dr. Today a co-worker spilled some blood over my uniform, I know he is HIV+, I have to re-use the uniform because it is a company policy, I know this could even sound silly but I was wondering if is there any risk by using clothes with infected dry blood, should I wash it in a normal way next to the other clothing? Is there any specific procedure to wash this type of clothes or do I need to use any specific disinfectant product like chlorine? I dont wanna throw it away because its really expensive to buy a new one but I cant help myself by thinking about the fact it was infected blood. Thank you so much for your time Dr. I really appreciate you could give me an answer to this.

for my general knowledge: What is the time the virus takes to die once its outside the host? (Minutes, Hours, Days)

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

You have no risk for HIV, for many reasons. HIV can not live outside the body. Likewise, it can not survive going through a wash cycle.

Once HIV lives the body it immediately begins to die. While its hard to give you exact timing down to the millisecond.. I can tell you confidently that HIV can not survive even minutes out of the human body.

Since your co-worker has entrusted you with personal information on their HIV status, it sounds like it'd be a great move to review our site for more information so that you can prep yourself to be as supportive and friendly as possible.

Hope this helps!


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