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Hepatitis c survival time outside of the body
Does anyone know how long the hepatitis c virus can live outside of the body?  Can anyone point to any studies done on this subject?
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The only info I could get (doing a Google search) was that Hep C lasts much longer than HIV outside the body. I think I got mine from  a needle that had last been used two weeks earlier, so I think it is a long time that it can survive in dried blood etc.
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I found this article posted on:
thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/TransmissionNon/Q8635.html

Occupational needlestick in a motel room  

Posted: Oct 12, 1999
My girlfriend cleans motel rooms at a place a lot of transients and working girls visit . Last night she was cleaning the top of a shower stall and got stuck with a needle somebody left there . My question is how long does hiv survive in needles and how long can hepatitis hold out on the tip of them ?

Response from: Rick Sowodsky, MSPH
Senior Communicable Disease Specialist
Nevada Stage Health Division Aids Program    

Thank you for your question.

Realistically speaking, because HIV dies rapidly outside the body (usually within minutes), your girlfriends chances of infection with HIV are realistically quite small. Her much bigger risk comes from hepatitis B (if she has never been vaccinated against hepatitis B) and for hepatitis C. Both of these viruses can survive hours outside the body. The deeper the stick, the fresher the blood, and the more blood she was exposed to, the greater her chances of infection. In addition, if she has not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years, now would be a good opportunity for her to be re-vaccinated.

Because this was an occupational exposure, it is very important that she report this incident to her supervisor immediately. She should also consider using condoms with you (and any other partners she may have) for the next 6-12 months (primarily due to the risks of hepatitis B and C). She should also not donate blood or organs during this period of time. So although she was technically at risk for HIV, her much bigger risk was for the hepatitis viruses. As part of a workmans compensation follow-up, they will usually test her for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at "***@****" or call me at (Nationwide). I'm glad to help!
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Wow, that's really scary how long hep c lives outside the body.  My question is how often does SRV heppers get reinfected?

Lori
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