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exposure to dried blood
May 7, 2004

Dear Mr. Dr. Henry ( Keith Henry, M.D. , University of Minnesota, School of Medicine), I have a question to HIV-infectiousness outside of the body, specially to dried blood with reference to a question from Oct 4, 2001 and your response ( In your answer you have written that "Dried blood that has been remoistened which likely be less infections (probably typing error: infectious) that (than) fresh blood." in context to a case reporting mucous membrane exposure with dried blood. In the question was written that supposedly HIV is inactivated when blood dries, so is it possible that HIV in dried blood can be reacti-vated by symply remoistening the dried blood with another (body?) fluid or mucous? I read already somewhere that if dried blood is brought back into solution and is actively brought into the body (for instance reusing a syringe), that could cause an HIV-infection. But is this comparable to the case reporting mucous membrane exposure with dried blood? I would really apprechiate it if you helped me with this question or an other member of the expert group could try to explain me this probably very complicated and complex issue. Thank you!

Response from Dr. Henry

There is good data that viable HIV is difficult to recover from dried samples (though HIV RNA can be detected from samples like that). Under unusual circumstances (frozen sample for example) I could imagine a scenario where viable virus could be extracted from a dried sample. Again, dessication or complete drying of the material (blood in this case) generally would result in loss of viability for HIV particles in the sample. HIV antibodies and non-viable HIV RNA have been detected in dried samples (such as from syringe needles). KH

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