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If my dog licked something which had dried hiv blood on it, could he be keeping it in his mouth? How quickly does the virus die? Also, how does hiv die in air exposed blood?


Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the survival of HIV outside of the body, specifically how quick the virus is rendered inactive, and the reaction process that is involved in HIV exposure to air.

HIV positive fluid that has become exposed to environmental air and surfaces will undergo a rapid reduction in concentration. HIV is not "killed" outside of the body, yet it is rendered inactive, and thus it becomes untransmittable (1) This rapid reduction in concentration is understood to be from 90-99% within several hours of exposure to oxygen (1).

Exposure to blood, semen, or other bodily fluids that have been exposed to environmental surfaces will not be considered a mode of HIV transmission. HIV transmission is most concerned with acts of unprotected sex, needle sharing and direct exposure to HIV positive blood. There has been no cases of this transmission through contact with blood, or other bodily fluids which have been left behind on surfaces (2).

In this case, the dried blood which your furry friend has licked, (provided the blood was HIV positive) would have undergone the rapid deceleration in concentration quickly as the drying process began. If indeed the blood was fresh; HIV is still a very fragile virus and would not survive the hostile environment in your pet's mouth. If you were worried about the safety of your dog, it is well understood that HIV does not transmit from human's to pets, or pets to human's.

All the best, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Cody