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killing hiv
Jul 9, 2001

Hello Doctor, I have a very important question to ask and I need to know urgently.

If semen or blood that is infected with hiv is mixed with body lotion or water, will the hiv virus be destroyed?

Thank you very much for your time.

Response from Mr. Kull

It is difficult to answer your question in general terms. Water and body lotion may not exactly "kill" HIV. The temperature of the water may have an effect on the viability of HIV and any agents (chemicals, detergents, antimicrobial agents) in body lotion may also have a negative effect on HIV's infectiousness. Regardless, HIV does not survive outside of the body very long, which is why we do not see people getting infected through casual contact (see the CDC's fact sheet "Survival of HIV in the Environment" http://www.thebody.com/cdc/survival.html).

If your question refers to using water or body lotion as lubrication during sexual intercourse, let me advise against it. Neither is likely to have a protective effect during unprotected sex with an HIV infected person. Use latex condoms and water-based lubricants. Do not use body lotion to lubricate the condom, since oils in lotion can cause microscopic tearing in the condom.

RMK



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