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HIV's Life Outside The Body

Jun 3, 1997

I have found your website very informative. Could you tell me the maximum amount of time a substance with the HIV virus in it can live outside the body, even when the HIV virus has the most favorable conditions? Is it around 10 minutes, or an hour, or a day, or could you please give me a specific answer? Also could someone get the HIV virus if two people have sexual contact or one person gets semen or cum from the other into their body, but neither of them have the HIV virus or AIDS to start off with? Thank You!!!!

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

In regard to how long HIV will survive outside the body, see the questions "How long does HIV survive outside the body?" and "Can I get HIV from handling rented adult video tapes?", and "let's clear something up...".

Regarding getting HIV from an uninfected person:

Many people incorrectly believe that just having sex will give you a disease like HIV/AIDS. The fact is, sex by itself is not what gives you an infectious disease. It's unprotected sex WITH AN INFECTED PERSON that makes sexual contact risky, as far as HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's) are concerned. If you have unprotected sex with an uninfected person, you are at no risk whatsoever for HIV and other STD's. Unprotected sex does not make HIV or other STD's. But it does allow an infection to spread from a person ALREADY infected with HIV/STD's, to another person.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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