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How long can the HIV virus survive outside the human body? e.g. on a needle.?

How long can the HIV virus survive outside the human body? e.g. on a needle.?

It completely depends on the amount of HIV, the amount of fluid it is carried in, and where it is.

HIV is very easy to kill outside of the body. If you are talking about a drop of blood...any HIV in it will be rendered non-infectious very quickly. If you are talking about a pool of blood it will take longer.

Inside of a syringe HIV could theoretically stay infectious longer as there is limited exposure to air and the blood will take longer to "dry out".

You can't really answer this question as there is too much variation, and a lot of people have misunderstood the whole "exposure to air will kill HIV" as meaning that HIV is killed instantly outside of the body and that is incorrect.

It completely depends on the ambient temperature, the amount of fluid (which HIV is contained in ie. blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breastmilk), etc.,.

Hope this helps

ps. needle stick injuries have a transmission/infection rate of about 0.3%

We're talking like a minute at most. There are many commercially available virucidal cleansers used in areas with the possibility of blood spills which kill HIV on contact.

Now, are you asking this because of an accidental needle stick? If you are, I hope that you went to the ER to get checked out. If there is any chance that the persons blood has HIV in it, you need Anti-Retro virals immediately, before it is too late, or there is nothing you can do to decrease the chance of seroconversion.

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Not very long at all...a few minutes at the most.

Many household cleaners can kill the HIV virus (Chlorox works great...I wash my scrubs in that to kill any bacteria I might bring home from work).

That is why you cannot get HIV through casual contact. The virus simply can't survive. It would be great if we could figure out a way to cure it by somehow bringing all of that together.

Maybe someday...


once virus is exposed to air it doesn't live very long at all. there are many wipes and cleanser that are used to help eliminate hiv and other viruses such as mrsa and other staph infections. if you have been stuck by a needle that you make suspect was infected with hiv then you need to have blood work done by your doctor or let your employer know at once. don't risk it.

Needles are kind of a special situation. While the virus lives a very, very short time on surfaces, needles are hollow and can harbor virus and blood for considerably longer.

If you touch a contaminated surface, simple hand-washing will do the trick for you--no worries.

But if you experience a needle-stick, the concern is much greater, and most doctors would recommend HIV testing, at intervals, for up to 24 months.

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