hiv outside the body? which one correct?
Jan 20, 2013
hello..i want to ask.. You say that HIV begins to die once it is outside of the body and unable to infect..but,i have read the article how hiv is spread http://www.thebody.com/content/art50252.html..and it say that :
"Air does not "kill" HIV, but exposure to air dries the fluid that contains the virus, and that will destroy or break up much of the virus very quickly. The CDC reports that drying HIV reduces viral amount by 90-99% within several hours"
it say that drying hiv reduces viral amount by 90-99% within SEVERAL HOURS???so which one is correct?hiv die once it is outside the body or need several hours? please answer me,i'm so confuse and scare.. thx..
Response from Mr. Glenn
Thanks for your question,
However, before we get to the answer the same article that you're quoting also says "we know the virus is not transmitted except during unprotected sex, sharing needles, or through significant and direct exposure to infected blood."
So, in terms of practicality, if you're asking about HIV risk (which is really why this question is important) remember that there are a limited amount of ways that someone can get HIV.
As soon as HIV leaves the body, there are many things that happen which prevent a person from being infected (unless there's SIGNIFICANT and DIRECT exposure). One thing is that that most of it dies simply from drying. "Several hours" is a conservative estimate (i.e. the longest time in which that happens).
But drying isn't the only thing that's happening to prevent HIV infection! The fluid with HIV (that's now outside the body), needs to 1) get into someone else's body and 2) hit the right type of infectable cells. This is not easy!
After all is said and done, we can go back to the way we started this conversation: "we know the virus is not transmitted except during unprotected sex, sharing needles, or through significant and direct exposure to infected blood." If none of these have happened then there's no possibility of risk. NONE.
Now MY question is why this is concerning to you? Are you afraid of getting HIV out in the word? If so, take comfort from knowing that NO ONE can get infected unless they have unprotected sex, share needles, or have SIGNIFICANT and DIRECT exposure to blood.
Hope this helps!
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