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It's all in the blood

Feb 17, 2013

Hi Erik,

This is more a question for my own curiousity. I know that hiv dies shortly after leaving the body and that to infect anyone it needs to leave one body and go directly into another. Is this because of the way blood acts? Recently I suffered a small cut and I observed that the blood I wiped away with my fingers became sticky and essentially dry within seconds, probably between 10 and 15 seconds to become sticky and less than a minute to be mostly dry. When we talk about blood exposures in the workplace, etc, is it exposures to this visible but minor amount of blood that we most often refer to? Maybe it sounds morbid but I see why such a direct exposure is necessary now because the blood goes from wet to sticky to essentially dry in under a minute.

Thanks for your time, Ryan

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

Think of the blood as the carrier of HIV. It transports it and keeps it "alive." Obviously, it needs to go inside of someone's body (HIV isn't going to infect someone when it's outside someone's body).

Blood exposure in the workplace refers to working with blood (like in a hospital or lab environment). That's not what you're describing.

Hope this all helps..


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