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Deceased Transmission
Sep 19, 2002

Dear Ms. Breuer,

How long does HIV survive after the host has died? What are the risks that go along with dealing with the deceased?

Thank You.

Response from Ms. Breuer

As far as I know, this question has not been the subject of a formal study. The best guidance I know of is to treat body fluids as potentially infectious whether the host is alive or deceased. If you are a funeral home employee or coroner's office employee, please check the guidelines for your profession. I assume they recommend universal precautions.


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