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Name: Richard
Status: Other
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

Does the aids virus die once it is airborne?

Obviously it can be transmitted via the exchnage of bodily fluids but, if the infected persons fluids are exposed to air outside the body, does the virus survive?

HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS, is an enveloped virus. That means it's surrounded by a lipid membrane. In other words, it's wearing a coat of the same material that surrounds living cells. That's sturdy enough inside a body, but not outside in the rest of the world. If the virus should be coughed into the air, or spilled onto a surface like a toilet seat, it would not survive long enough to infect anybody.

Christine Ticknor
Ph.D. Candidate
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

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