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Surfaces
Aug 23, 2001

I read that HIV cannot survive on surfaces, is this true? I am concerned if let's say that someone wiht HIV left his body fluids such as blood on a surface, but wiped it off with tissue paper immediately, can traces of the virus still be found viable and infectious if someone's mucus membrane came into contact with this surface?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Blood on a surface, wiped off immediately with tissue paper. Someone else's mucous membrane coming into contact with it. Which mucous membrane? I'm trying to imagine a scenario in which this would happen, and then trying to figure out how to talk about odds in a scenario that, as far as we know, has not led to any HIV infections.

There are so many theoreticals in the question that I think we'd better just talk about the fact that this virus needs immediate, intimate contact to be transmitted person to person. You're describing a situation that could lead to transmitting hepatitis B, though, because it's more hardy than HIV on a surface.



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