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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How long can the HIV virus live outside the human body?

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Dr. Robert Galamaga

Oncologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 2616 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 11 Feb 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Question: Can I contract HIV from licking the top of a dirty shoe. The shoe hadn't been worn though in at least 10 days.
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 42 minutes later
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

In my opinion there is virtually no chance that you could contract the HIV virus from licking a dirty shoe.

In order to give yourself additional peace of mind I recommend that you obtain a full HIV test at a local clinic or hospital. If this is negative then you can be sure that you have not contracted the virus.

Thanks again for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional concerns.

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga 40 minutes later
How long can the virus live outside the human body? Are you a specialist in HIV?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thank you for your follow-up.

While I am not a certified expert in HIV I do work in the field of hematology which is intimately associated with viral infections including HIV and other infectious diseases.

The HIV virus cannot survive without a host. Outside of the body it willlose its ability to replicate and cause continued infection. This will occur within minutes.

Again in your case it is almost impossible for some type of HIV transmission to occur from licking a dirty shoe.

I cannot give you any guarantee nor will any physician be able to give you any guarantee regarding this. In order to obtain that level of security you need to obtain an HIV screening test.

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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