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LIFE SPAN
Mar 13, 2001

HOW LONG CAN THE VIRUS SURVIVE IN BLOOD THAT HAS BEEN "SPILLED" OR LEFT THE BODY AS A RESULT OF A CUT.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Within a few seconds, HIV "comes apart" (is destroyed) in oxygen. In spilled blood, that will happen layer by layer, as the blood is exposed to air. To be infectious, though, the blood has to come into direct contact with a mucous membrane or break in the skin. That happens when someone is casual about spilled blood or doesn't treat it as the hazardous material that OSHA now says it is. In the workplace, it's important that everyone learn how to respond to a blood spill.

A puddle of blood on a surface is not an emergency. Take time to clean it up safely.



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