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When its Dry, Does it Die?

Jul 30, 2001

Hello Mr. Krull:

Is it safe to say that when semen or pre-cum dries, it dies. Would saliva "re-activate" it? Thank you.

Response from Mr. Kull

Nothing "re-activates" HIV once it dies. It is unlikely that HIV would be transmitted from dry pre-cum or semen, but there is no specific answer to the amount of time HIV would remain infectious in semen outside of the body. Most researchers agree that HIV does not survive long outside of the body based on studies of high concentrations of HIV infected blood. See the CDC's article "Survival of HIV in the Environment" for specific information on these studies (


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