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Environmental surfaces
Jul 29, 2001

What exactly is meant by environmental surfaces? Does it include underwear soaked with vaginal fluids or does it include body skin? E.g. if I have vaginal fluids on my hands from rubbing that soaked female underwear and maybe a few moments later I rub my eyes, can HIV be transmitted that way?

Response from Ms. Franzoi

The HIV virus is very fragile. It dies almost instantly on contact with light, heat or air. In order for the virus to enter your body, it must go directly into the bloodstream or come in contact with a mucous memebrane which it passes through. In addition, your skin is a great barrier. You are not at risk because you came in contact with underwear, even if it had been soaked in vaginal secretions. Even if the virus had been present, it would be dead and your skin would also protect you.



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