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blood drop survival outside the environment
Jun 9, 2001

In reading the responses to several questions pertaining to hiv survival outside the body in various forums on this website, I've noticed that some answers state the virus dies within seconds of air exposure while other answers state it takes several minutes. I'm assuming that the time necessary for the outside environment to inactivate the virus largely depends on the amount of body fluid exposed to the environment(?). Anyway, I'm wondering roughly how long a drop of hiv infected blood would survive in room temperature air? Are there several 'layers' that need to be oxidized and/or does the blood need to be completely dried before it is no longer infectious? Thanks in advance to your response.

Response from Ms. Breuer

At such HIV-related sites as Aegis, you can read studies that address this question, but as a non-medically-trained person, please allow me to point out that unless the blood in question comes into direct contact with a break in the skin or a mucous membrane, it does not pose a risk to anyone else in the room. Is this a concern about degree of exposure or risk at work? If so, please provide more information. And let's all be grateful that the thing doesn't have wings.



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