Anonymous
If say someone who is HIV positive had cut themselves and gotten a drop of blood on your arm(which has healthy unbroken skin) is there a risk of HIV? How long can HIV live in a drop of blood?and could I just clean it off with normal hand soap and water and not worry anymore? Thank you for your help
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. I am happy to assist you.

Great question! In the situation you have described, there is no risk involved for 2 reasons. Firstly, the blood from the other person would have no way to enter your bloodstream to start an infection since there was no deep wound on your own arm. The virus cannot get to the bloodstream through unbroken skin. Secondly, the HIV virus actually dies when it is exposed to air, which is why HIV is a virus that loves to live internally in bodies. HIV can last in a drop of blood for the entirety of someone's life as long as it remains inside a body. Almost immediately when it touches air, the virus dies. I cannot give you a specific time it can survive, but from the information we have here, it is immediate.

Yes, you can just clean the blood off with soap and water!

I hope I have answered your question and reassured you. If you have any more questions do not hesitate to contact us again!

Sincerely,

Caroline

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Online Volunteer

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm PST

604-253-0566 ext 299

Private and Confidential
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