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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can the HIV virus survive outside the body?

Answered by
Dr. Priyanka G Raj

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 275 Questions

Posted on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 in HIV and AIDS
Question: Hello doctor,

I would like to ask about the toothbrush , if i washed the toothbrush by water would it be enough to prevent transmitting of HIV if it was used before by a person who is HIV +?. Washing hands by water can kill the HIV virus? How long does the virus live outside the body on shoes , bed or any other things? The dried fluid or blood on table , XXXXXXX or anything outside the body are contagious?
Answered by Dr. Priyanka G Raj 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Survival depends on which body fluid it is in, volume of the body fluid, concentration of the virus within it, temperature, acidity, and exposure to sunlight and humidity.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the query

HIV transmission can occur only when there is contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and HIV-infected blood or blood-contaminated body fluids and close sexual contact

So it is not contagious by sharing articles/any stuff.

Scientists and medical authorities agree that HIV does not survive well outside the body, making the possibility of environmental transmission remote.

But in hospitals and laboratories HIV infected material or infected person's body fluid or blood stain on the floor should be disinfected by H2O2(Hydrogen peroxide) solution 0.5-1 % atleast for 10 min.

HIV needs really specific conditions to survive outside the body. Typically air tight and climate controlled. As far as inanimate objects, needles are found to be one place the virus can survive a bit longer.

Survival depends on which body fluid it is in, volume of the body fluid, concentration of the virus within it, temperature, acidity, and exposure to sunlight and humidity.

So chances of survival of HIV on non living things like bed, table , shoes are very less.Even though if it is present , can survive long for several hours.

Dr Priyanka G XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Priyanka G Raj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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