Q:

10/8/2013
I came across a question that I wanted to run by your expertise as I have not been able to find an answer from doing a literature search. One of my patients had lab work done at a facility outside of my clinic, and after the blood was drawn the phlebotomist used a piece of guaze that had contacted the table (this table was used as the phlebotomist's work station, to handle blood) to cover the patient's puncture wound; the patient saw no visible blood on that table, but suspects that the table was not wiped down between patients, raising concern that the phlebotomist was not adhering to proper infection control procedures. The patient asked me how long does HIV virus survive on surfaces such as tables when there is no visible blood. I doubt the HIV virus will last long on a surface without visible blood on it, but from what I looked up I could not find any study which showed a specific time that the HIV virus survives on surfaces such as tables. Therefore I wanted to ask you, what do you know about how long can the HIV virus last on a surface that does not have visible blood?

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

There are a number of available sources of information regarding the survival time of HIV outside the body. The three websites copied below will link you to what is known about this issue. The first is perhaps the most reputable since it is from the CDC, but all three sites are basically in agreement, and I believe will offer you useful and accurate information.

CDC
 
NAM

NARI

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology