The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

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 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!


Answer plz!!!!!!!!
Splinter risk

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint