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Killing the HIV/AIDS virus germs in the household
Aug 23, 2001

My husband is training to be a paramedic and during his clinicals can come in contact with the HIV/AIDS virus. I want to make sure he does not bring this home on his clothes/shoes because we have two small children. Is there a way of cleansing his clothes besides using bleach which will kill these germs. Is washing with detergent enough? Do I need to be concerned about this?

Response from Mr. Kull

You probably do not need to be concerned about this. It is highly unlikely that your husband would be able to transmit HIV to anyone in the household through infected fluids on his clothing. HIV does not survive in the environment long enough to make a situation like this likely (see "Survival of HIV in the Environment" http://www.thebody.com/cdc/survival.html). In general, it is probably wise to take caution with any clothes that have blood on them; washing them in warm water with detergent is sufficient. It might be helpful to talk with your husband about your concerns, as he might some helpful input or insight to safety for you and your family.

RMK



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