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Worried Nurse
Sep 22, 2004

I'm a nurse specializing in wound care and I recently sustained a cut from shears contaminated with dried blood. The blood was about 5 or 6 hours old and was completely dry as far as I could tell. My supervisor didn't seem concerned.

How long will hiv live in blood outside the body. Once the blood is dry, it is non-viable? Thank you.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Dried blood poses no risk of HIV infection. HIV exposed to oxygen dries up in seconds. There is, however, potential risk of hepatitis B or C. If I were you, I'd ask an infectious disease doc about follow-up for those conditions, especially since the accident occurred at work. Have you reported it yet? If not, please do, and talk with your supervisor about follow-up for the exposure. But you can let go of any fear of HIV.



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