How long does HIV live outside the body?

HIV, unlike most viruses has to be within a host or culture at a temperature of 98.6 degrees give or take only a degree or two. Outside of the body, the virus dies within minutes without the temperature necessary for its survival. It, unlike many of its virus cousins, does not have the ability to go into a spore state and "shut down" until another viable host comes along. Its cell walls begin to deteriorate within minutes after leaving its host..... this is why it cannot be transmitted with a kiss or a hug, but only through sexual intercourse or shared IV use, usually associated with drug use where needles are passed from one person to another before the virus had a chance to expire.

HIV is fragile by nature and is also extremely sensitive to even small fluctuations in temperature and the presence of oxygen. Outside of strictly controlled laboratory conditions, HIV will only survive for a couple of minutes at the very most.

The one place that HIV has been shown to survive for extended periods of time (several days) is in needles used with syringes; the needles frequently contain enough blood to prevent the HIV from drying out.

In the almost twenty-five years that scientists have been studying HIV, there has not been a single known instance of HIV being transmitted trough casual contact in the environment.