How Long Can Hiv Survive On Surfaces
Lets look at the evidence available to us.
- HIV is killed by heat. Temperatures of above 60C will kill HIV.
- HIV is NOT killed by cold. In fact, colder temperatures increase the survival time of HIV.
- At 27C to 37C, HIV can survive up to 7 days in syringes
- At room temperature, HIV can survive in dried blood for 5 to 6 days
- At 4C, HIV can survive up to 7 days in dried blood
- At -70C, HIV can survive indefinitely
- HIV can only survive in pH between 7 and 8
- HIV has been found to survive for a few days in sewage
- HIV has been found to survive in organs and corpses for up to 2 weeks
You would notice that all these studies are done on blood. There is really no good evidence to determine how long HIV from semen, vaginal secretions of other body fluids can survive outside the body. One fact is that it is very difficult to culture HIV from semen. This indicates the low viral content and we can assume that the same timelines for blood apply to semen if not less.
In these experiments, the survivability of the HIV virus is determined by its retention of the ability to infect cells in cell culture.
We must be careful not to equate survivability to infection.
In other words:
- HIV infected surface/fluid + broken skin HIV infection
What Is The Risk Of Hiv Transmission From An Inanimate Object
DiscussionBlood-borne infections are always a risk for anyone. Some occupations pose higher risks than others such as health care workers, emergency responders, public safety personnel, sex-trade workers and body art professionals. These workers can be exposed to body fluids by sharps, mucous membrane and skin exposures. Personal safety equipment and universal precautions should be utilized properly, consistently every time there is the possibility of an exposure. Accidental exposures still occur and the CDC has recommendations for proper management and possible post-exposure prophylaxic medication use. The main concerns are for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus .
Learning PointHIV basically cannot survive outside the human body for long. The main transmission risk is from direct contact with infectious fluids. Drying of fluids dramatically decreases the infectivity. In laboratory studies with high concentrations of HIV, the amount of live virus was reduced to 90-99% after a few hours. The initial high concentrations were more than the usual concentration within a human body. Therefore, once the body fluid is dry, the risk of transmission is essentially zero.
One concern with medical needles is that the fluid within the hollow needle may not be dried, and therefore would contain live virus.
To Learn MoreTo view pediatric review articles on this topic from the past year check PubMed.
Bites That Break The Skin
A bite that opens the skin and causes bleeding can lead to the transmission of HIV. However, according to the
goes up with increasing viral load.
Viral load is highest both during the early phase of HIV and without treatment with antiretroviral medications. Taking antiretroviral medications every day can reduce a persons viral load to very low levels that cant be detected through testing.
In this way, antiretroviral medications arent only a treatment, but an important tool for prevention. When HIV cant be detected in the blood, a person living with HIV cant sexually transmit the virus to a partner without HIV.
This principle is called Undetectable = Untransmittable and has been supported by
up to 6 months of taking antiretroviral medications each day to achieve an undetectable viral load.
A persons viral load is said to be durably undetectable when all test results are undetectable for at least 6 months after the first undetectable result.
Theres no need to be afraid of having casual contact with someone who is living with HIV. The virus doesnt live on the skin and cant live very long outside of the body.
Additionally, bodily fluids like saliva, tears, and sweat dont transmit HIV either.
Therefore, casual contact, such as holding hands, hugging, or sitting next to someone who has HIV, wont transmit the virus. Closed-mouth kissing isnt a threat either.
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Sharing Injection Drug Equipment
Sharing needles for injecting drugs most efficiently transmits HIV. This is because used needles and syringes can still contain blood, which can carry the virus.
An older study found that HIV can survive up to 42 days in syringes, depending on the temperature.
There are also some less common ways that HIV can be transmitted. Lets take a look at some of them below.
How Long Can A Virus Live Outside A Body
Asked by: Chaudhary Nikul, India
Viruses can live for a surprisingly long time outside of a body, depending on conditions such as moisture and temperature. They tend to live longer on water-resistant surfaces, such as stainless steel and plastics.
A cold virus can sometimes survive on indoor surfaces for several days, although its ability to cause infection drops dramatically over time.
Flu viruses can survive in the air for several hours, especially at lower temperatures, and on hard surfaces they can survive and remain infectious for 24 hours.
Enteric viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A, can survive for weeks on a surface if conditions are suitable. The norovirus is known for causing sickness outbreaks in schools, cruise ships and hospitals.
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What Should I Do If I Need To Clean Up Blood
HIV does not usually survive long outside of the body, but contact with blood should be avoided.
To clean up blood that has been spilled, wear rubber gloves and mop up the liquid using bleach and warm water . Use warm, soapy water to clean away blood spilled on someones body.
Put the waste, used gloves and bloodied clothes in a plastic bag, seal and throw away.
Exploring Hiv Transmission Rates
World Health Organization , about 36.7 million people worldwide lived with HIV as of 2016. Still, thanks to antiretroviral therapy , people with HIV are leading longer, better quality lives. Many of these strides have been made in the United States.
To help reduce the risk of transmission, its important to understand how the virus is spread. HIV is only transmitted through bodily fluids, such as:
- breast milk
Learn which type of exposure is most likely to transmit the virus and how antiretroviral drugs are making a difference.
, direct blood transfusion is the route of exposure that poses the highest risk of transmission. While uncommon, receiving a blood transfusion from a donor with HIV may increase the risk.
The CDC also discusses HIV transmission risk in terms of how many times the virus is likely to be transmitted per 10,000 exposures. For example, for every 10,000 blood transfusions from a donor with HIV, the virus is likely to be transmitted 9,250 times.
Since 1985, however, blood banks have adopted stricter screening measures to identify blood with HIV. Now all blood donations are carefully tested for HIV. If they test positive, theyre discarded. As a result, the risk of contracting HIV from a blood transfusion is very low.
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Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Most people experience a short flu-like illness 2 to 6 weeks after HIV infection, which lasts for a week or 2.
After these symptoms disappear, HIV may not cause any symptoms for many years, although the virus continues to damage your immune system.
This means many people with HIV do not know they’re infected.
Anyone who thinks they could have HIV should get tested.
Some people are advised to have regular tests as they’re at particularly high risk.
How Long Does Hiv Survive In Water
Answered by: Dr Anuj Sharma | World Health Organization, Country Office for India, New Delhi
Q: If HIV-infected blood is mixed with water or some other fluid, then how long does the virus survive?
Human immunodeficiency virus can survive outside the human body for several weeks,with virus survival being influenced by the virus titre , volume of blood, ambient temperature, exposure to sunlight and humidity. HIV-1 viability in blood slowly decays and the reduction in viability is more rapid when there is less blood and a lower titre of virus in the blood and when the temperature is higher. HIV cannot survive outside the body unless it is sealed within a container. Therefore, a pin -prick, even if it were tainted with HIV, would be an extremely inefficient means of transmission of infection. Health care workers who are pricked with needles and medical instruments have a very low rate of infection . Viable HIV-1 can be recovered from blood in syringes even after periods of storage in excess of 1 month.HIV has been isolated from blood, semen and other body fluids from infected individuals as both free virions and from infected cells .There are reports of survival of cell-free HIV in effluent water < 12 hours followed by a reduction in titre 1- to 2-log in 24-48 hours.The infectivity of cell-associated HIV reduces rapidly after exposure to distilled water.However, a sub-population of cell-associated HIV may remain infectious for up to 96 hours in distilled water.
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How Long Does Hiv Live Outside The Body In The Environment
HIV cant survive for long in the environment. When fluid leaves the body and is exposed to air, it begins to dry up. As drying occurs, the virus becomes damaged and can become inactive. Once inactive, HIV is dead and no longer infectious.
Some research show that, even at levels much higher than usually found in the bodily fluids and blood of people with HIV, 90 to 99 percent of the virus is of being exposed to air.
However, even though exposure to the environment can inactivate the virus, at least several days , even as the fluid dries.
So, can you get HIV from a surface, such as a toilet seat? In short, no. The amount of active virus that would be able to transmit an infection in this scenario is negligible. A case of transmission from a surface has never been reported.
People Who Are At Increased Risk
HIV can affect anyone but people who are at a higher risk include:
- men who have had unprotected sex with men
- women who have had unprotected sex with men who have sex with men
- people who have had unprotected sex with a person who has lived in, or travelled in, Africa
- people who inject drugs
- people who have had unprotected sex with somebody who has injected drugs
- people who have another sexually transmitted infection
- people who have received a blood transfusion while in Africa, eastern Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Asia or central and southern America
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Myths About Hiv And Aids
- There are lots of myths around, but the facts of how you can get HIV, and how you can protect yourself, are very simple.
- One of the most common myths people living with HIV hear is that they can be cured. Theres no cure yet for HIV, but antiretroviral treatment works and will keep someone living with HIV healthy.
HIV can only be passed on from one person to another via the following bodily fluids:
How Common Is Hiv
The number of people living with HIV in the UK continues to rise. This is because more cases are being diagnosed and people are living longer due to more effective medication
The most recent statistics on the number of people in Northern Ireland living with HIV are available from the Public Health Agency website.
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Blood Transfusions And Organ Donation
The risk of contracting HIV from a blood transfusion, other blood products, or organ donation is now extremely rare in the United States. All donated blood or blood products in the United States are tested for several types of bloodborne pathogens, including HIV.
Blood donations that test positive for HIV are safely discarded and dont enter the blood supply. The risk of HIV transmission during a blood transfusion is conservatively estimated to be
, there are no known instances of HIV being transmitted by receiving a tattoo or piercing. However, its technically possible for transmission to occur if equipment or ink is reused or shared.
How Long Does Hiv Survive Outside The Body
In general, the virus doesnât live long once itâs outside of a human body. Studies show that HIV grown in the lab, when placed on a surface, loses most of its ability to infect — 90% to 99% — within several hours. And the level of virus tested was much higher than whatâs found in bodily fluids. So contact with dried blood, semen, or other fluids poses little risk.
One study found HIV can live in used needles for over a month if the temperature and conditions are just right. That means sharing needles or syringes, like during drug use, raises your risk of infection.
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How Could You Get Hiv From Contact With Blood
The risk of HIV transmission through blood comes when the person has a detectable viral load and their blood enters another persons body or comes into contact with a mucous membrane. These are parts of the body with wet, absorbent skin such as the:
- inside of the anus
Theres also a risk if blood from a person who has a detectable viral load comes into contact with a cut or broken skin, giving HIV a way through the skin and into someones bloodstream. If blood gets onto skin that isnt broken, there is no risk.
In a medical setting, its possible for HIV to be transmitted by someone accidentally cutting themselves with a blade or needle they have used to treat a person living with HIV.
This is called a needlestick injury. The risk of being infected in this way is very low. However, if someone thinks they have been exposed to HIV through a needlestick injury, post-exposure prophylaxis may be an option.
Conditions By Which Hiv Can Survive
If HIV were to survive outside of the body for more than a few minutes, it could only do so under these specific environmental conditions:
- Colder temperatures: Temperatures below 39 degrees Fahrenheit are considered ideal for HIV to thrive. By contrast, HIV does not do well at room temperature and continues to decline as it reaches and exceeds body temperature .
- Ideal pH: The ideal pH level for HIV is between 7.0 and 8.0, with an optimal pH of 7.1. Anything above or below these levels is considered unsuitable for survival.
- Dried blood: HIV can survive in dried blood at room temperature for up to six days, although the concentrations of virus in dried blood will invariably be low to negligible.
- No UV exposure: HIV survives longer when is not exposed to ultraviolet radiation. UV light quickly degrades viral DNA as well as the lipids that make up the virus’ shell, rendering it incapable of attaching to and infecting other cells.
Even given these parameters, there has yet to be a documented case of infection by means of a discarded syringe in a public place.
In 2008, the largest retrospective study investigating child needlestick injuries concluded that not one case of HIV occurred following contact with a discarded needle.
Moreover, in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could only confirm one infection by means of a needlestick injury since 1999, and that case involved a lab researcher who was working with a live HIV culture.
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How Hiv Can Spread
The most common ways people contract HIV in the United States are through sharing equipment when injecting drugs and having anal or vaginal sex without barrier contraceptives. Anal sex poses a higher risk than vaginal sex, as there is a greater chance of tissue damage.
Although it is less common, HIV may pass to an infant during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
In extremely rare cases, HIV may spread if blood comes into contact with an open wound. There is a chance of this occurring if partners engage in open-mouth kissing, and both have bleeding gums or open sores within the mouth.
However, saliva that does not contain blood cannot transmit HIV. People cannot get HIV from closed-mouth or cheek kissing.
People can reduce or eliminate the chance of contracting HIV by using barrier contraceptives or taking preventive HIV therapy, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis .
PrEP is a pill that a person can take once a day to minimize the chance of contracting HIV. It may be helpful for those who:
- have a partner with HIV
- have a partner with an unknown HIV status
- have multiple partners