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How Long Can HIV Live Outside of the Body?

HIV Outside the Body

The HIV virus dies instantly if it comes into contact with oxygen. Some people think that they can get infected with the HIV virus if they come in contact with an object or surface that may have had the HIV-infected blood or semen on it, but that is not accurate.

HIV Virus Survival

The HIV virus can only survive outside the body if the temperature is below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Room temperatures do not let the virus thrive and it will die very quickly. The virus can also only survive in a pH level between 7.0 and 8.0. The only probability of the virus surviving for a few days is if it’s in lab conditions, and even then, it can last for a maximum of six days with very low concentrations.

The HIV virus may be an actual risk once it’s outside the body under four conditions. First, HIV can only thrive in certain body fluids, which include semen, blood, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. Second, in order to get infected, there must be an entry point for the virus to get into the bloodstream. This can happen either through sex, blood transfusions before 1986, sharing needles, etc. Unlike common perception, HIV can’t get through unbroken skin. Also, a scrape, abrasion, or prick will not penetrate deep enough to allow infection. There also must be a large enough quantity of the virus in the right body fluid to get infected.

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