How Long Does the HIV Virus Live Outside the Body?
The accurate time duration of HIV living outside the body is not too extensive or lengthy. Once exposed to the outside environment, the virus becomes inactive at some point and dies in just a matter of hours or even in minutes. This fact alone resolves the misconceptions of many people that the virus can still be acquired even if it has been staying on the external surface for many days.
When laid bare external the body or even in the surroundings, the virus weakens its functions. One of the major factors that make the virus less infective is exposure to too much heat. Once this occurs, it becomes impossible for the possible to infect others. However, assuming that the virus has been enclosed in a container (e.g., syringes), the virus can live together with its infective features. In this case, once injected into an individual, there is a high probability of infection.
Recognize that the virus can only be spread through bodily fluids, and once these fluids enter any opening that the skin has, the virus infects directly. Some of these fluids that can carry a high concentration or amount of HIV are the semen, secretions involving both male and female organs, breastmilk, and of course, blood.
Additionally, HIV’s survival depends on a different list of factors. Note the following:
- Sun’s ultraviolet rays – When the virus has been exposed for too long to the sun’s UV rays, the virus becomes imminently passive and of no use at all. The UV rays directly kill the virus.
- Temperature and Climate – Heat can kill the virus. Just like the UV rays, an environment with a high temperature immobilizes the virus. However, opposing heat temperature, any cold conditions or storage enable the virus to stay existent.
- The volume of the virus – The higher the concentration of HIV is, the longer time it takes to become dormant. This factor demonstrates the infective rate of the virus once spread to another host.
- Level of acidity – HIV continues to live when the potential of hydrogen or pH is about seven. This neutral level allows the virus to stay existent for a longer duration.
- The humidity of the environment – The dryness of the environment affects the survival rate of the virus. When this occurs, the amount of virus can be obstructed from its functions such as replication.
Understand the following set of factors explaining the entire duration from which the virus survives when taken outside the human body or exposed to any environmental surface.
- Environmental exposure – A mistaken belief surrounding people nowadays is the idea of viral exposure in public restrooms. Many people believe that when the virus is exposed in the seats of public restrooms, an individual who accidentally sits on it is already infected. Well, that is so wrong! For many years of studies and examinations, there have been zero cases of HIV infection related to that scene. Additionally, when the virus is already brought outside the environment, the air dries it instantly.
- Through the sperm – One of the mediums of transmission is the sperm. However, when this type of fluid (especially when it has HIV in it) is released outside the body to the external surface, it dries up immediately.
- Through the blood – An infected blood is very much capable of infecting others. However, when it is brought out to the outside surface, the heat can incapacitate its functions. Additionally, any type of exposure outside the body can cripple its operations, such as multiplying. In cases where the blood is enclosed in storage, like a syringe, the virus can stay active for many days, most especially if it’s stored inside a cold container. So, when you involve yourself in any type of injection procedure, ensure that the needle or syringe is sterilized and new.
Prevent yourself from the negative outcomes brought about by this infection. Just because the virus can become very dormant outside the body doesn’t mean you don’t have to be cautious already about a possible transmission. Stay vigilant and safe about this matter, as this could cost your health. Take your safety into full consideration even after knowing these facts.