Anonymous
Hello!

Does HIV survives on blood that spills on hair or skin?

If hair or skin with HIV blood touches a mucus membrane (vagina/eyes/ anus) after a few minutes of blood falling on it can it transmit HIV??

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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It sounds like you are concerned about the likelihood HIV transmission for the described scenario.

HIV itself stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This particular virus requires a human host to survive and flourish. With the HIV virus being quite fragile, once exposed to air it is immediately damaged and is no longer transmissible. This is due to the virus breaking down once it escapes from the body. A lot of people are concerned about the transmission of HIV as it is quite the scary virus. While it is true that the HIV virus does survive in blood inside the host, once exposed to air it is no longer transmissible. Thus, HIV cannot survive on blood that spills on hair or skin, meaning one would be at No Risk of acquiring HIV if they were to touch a mucus membrane a few minutes after the blood made contact with one's hair or skin.

Below I have attached an HIV Transmission Equation chart, which goes into further detail about the necessary factors required for there to be a risk of HIV transmission.

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION


BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection
For more information on HIV you can visit [HIV and AIDS Basics](http://catie.ca/en/basics/hiv-and-aids#what).

Regards,

Chris, Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)

helpline@aidsvancouver.org

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= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION