HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
How does HIV live?
About This Forum:

This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

How does HIV live?

CDC says that HIV does not survive long outside the human body and that they can only survive for days or weeks in labs under the right conditions.  So what are the requirements for HIV to survive outside the human body?  I looked on the web and all I can find is how it takes over the T cells, which I already know.  My assumption is that since HIV can only replicate itself with the precense of T cells, it can only survive when there are T-cells.  Since T-cells just don't survive anywhere else other than the human body, HIV can't really exist without the presence of fresh blood or other bodily fluids.  Thus, HIV can't survive outside the human body or without T-cells.  Is that correct?  And, what is the definition of activity and inactivity of HIV?  Lastly, is it possible for someone to temper with products such as personal lubricants and make them to contain active HIV virus?  After what has happened to Tynol years ago, I've always feared that someone culd temper with personal lubricants and make them infectious.  Can HIV survive and be infectious in personal lubricants?

Thanks!
Tags: HIV, survive, How does HIV live, personal lubricant
Related Discussions
300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to the Forum.  I worry that your questions indicate an inappropriate fear of getting HIV through an environmental exposure.  If that is a concern, before I address your questions, I want to point out that HIV is not transmitted by inanimate objects or exposure to such things, even if they have been in contact with material which include the virus.  HIV is transmitted by sex and by injection of infectious material into an uninfected person.  now for your questions.

HIV can remain viable outside of the body and without the presence of T-cells. the conditions which effect how long the virus surfaces include temperature (above or below body temperature), drying (kills the virus) and moisture (see drying).  In most situations the virus lives only a matter of minutes outside of the body.  

It is not practical or feasible for someone to be able to place HIV into a lubricant or to tamper with commercial products in order to allow transmission this way.  The tylenol situation is not analogous here.  

Hope these comments are helpful to you. EWH
4 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
So doe this mean products like lubricants, condoms, etc. can not be contaminated?
Blank
300980_tn?1194933000
That is what I said.  EWH
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you, Dr. Hook!
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
239123_tn?1267651214
H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
300980_tn?1194933000
Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank