|Stability and Infectivity of HIV Virus|
|The overwhelming scientific evidence is that HIV is fragile and highly susceptible to physical and chemical agents and therefore does not survive well outside the human body. Drying causes a rapid (within 1 or 2 hours) reduction in virus concentration and renders 90 to 99 percent of the virus inactive.Other studies have shown that HIV is rapidly inactivated by a range of physical and chemical agents such as low levels of heat, pH extremes, and a variety of chemicals. These observations, coupled with the enormous dilution factors in sewage systems, suggest that on-the-job HIV risk factors for sewage workers are virtually nonexistent. HIV is transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person, perinatally from an infected woman to her fetus or infant, through needle-sharing among intravenous drug users, and rarely, from accidents involving needlestick injuries and other blood exposures of health-care providers. Because there is no epidemiologic or laboratory evidence that HIV can be transmitted by the fecal-oral route or by air, fears associated with HIV transmission by other types of contact with sewage are not warranted.No instances of HIV transmission have been reported from an exposure incurred in performing mortuary services. The chemical germicides in embalming fluids have been tested and found to completely inactivate HIV.HIV is inactivated by heat and dies after 30 minutes at 56 degree C (132.8 degree F). It is also highly susceptible to physical and chemical agents.
If properly stored, HIV is very stable at low temperatures. It can last 7-10 days at 4 degree C (39.2 degree F) and months to years at -70 degree C (-94 degree F).