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This may have been asked before but I am asking again...

Jan 7, 2013

Dear Shannon,

I know from reading the archives that hiv does not live well outside of the body. I dare say that you cannot catch hiv from fluids outside of the body because every moment those fluids are in an outside environment hiv dies a little bit more. How long, roughly, would you say hiv is infectious outside of the body in blood and bodily fluids though? Minutes? Seconds?

I ask because in my line of work I can come into contact with bodily fluids. I'm very concious of blood splatter and wear glasses to ensure this does not occur however occasionally I have come into contact with fluids outside of the body when I haven't been wearing gloves. This has been several minutes after they've left the body.

Any insight you could give would be appreciated.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi The way I try to explain it is by using the analysis of how a sponge dries. From the outside in. It does begin to die immediately and is all gone in minutes. Hepatitis C is more of a concern in these scenarios than HIV, because hepatitis C survives much longer outside of the body. Continue using your precautions and you should be fine.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon

So worried .... Please my head will explode
please dr shannon answer please

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