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Is there risk of infection from dried blood?
Sep 12, 1996

I recently moved into a new apartment. On the carpet in one of the rooms there apears to be some dried blood. The apartment has been empty for several months and the carpet has been cleaned, but the stain still remains. Is this in any way infectious? Also, I recently had a repairman in in my apartment, while here, he cut his finger. As soon as he left, I thoughly cleaned any surfaces he may cleaned every place he may have touched with bleach. Is this sufficent enough to kill the virus? Is there to kill HIV? Is there any risk of being infected from any spots which I may have missed? I know that these questions sound paranoid, but if you would answer them it would put my mind at ease!!! Thank you

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your post.

Based on what you told me, you would be at little, if any, risk of HIV infection. This is because the HIV virus will NOT live outside the body for more than a few minutes. Also, once the body fluid that contains HIV (like blood) is dry, the virus will die. The virus cannot survive in a dry environment, and again, the virus cannot live outside the human body for more than a few minutes. So any blood that was there from the previous tenant would be safe from HIV infection.

Bleach will kill HIV and other infectious agents. However remember that bleach cannot be used on all surfaces. Cleaning with soap and water is sufficient since HIV will die on it's own outside the human body after only a few minutes, so you don't need to bleach everything.

Keep in mind that in order to become infected with HIV, the following requirements must be met:

You must be exposed to pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breastmilk.

The virus must get directly into your bloodstream through some fresh cut, open sore, abrasion etc.

Transmission must go directly from 1 person to the other very quickly.....the virus does not survive more than a few minutes outside the body.

Since HIV dies outside the body so quickly, and since HIV did not have a direct access to your bloodstream, based on what you told me, you would not be considered at risk of infection.

If you have further questions, please e-mail me at "nvhotline@aol.com" or call me at 1-800-842-AIDS.



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