Some questions on AIDS

wetsel_r at wetsel_r at
Mon Oct 5 08:06:24 EST 1992

>From: drw at (Dale R. Worley)
>Date: 30-SEP-1992 16:18:59
>Description: Re: Some questions on AIDS

>>In article <01GP4PS5ISPC0018CI at SASK.USask.CA> LEES at SASK.USASK.CA writes:
>>   1. Can AIDS be infected through used electrical shaver?
>>   2. How long can this virus survive in the air?
>>   3. Can this virus be killed by ethanol or detergent like soap?

>Since noone has replied, I'll tell what I know:

>The answers seem to be "No", "a very short while", and "Yes".  To
>answer the questions you are probably interested in, it appears that
>HIV is *hard* to transmit.  The only transmission routes that are
>epidemiologically significant are blood transfustion, sexual
>intercourse, and mother-fetus.  Even sexual intercourse is not a
>highly effective transmission route, and seems to be strongly
>suppressed if there are no other STDs present.
>There have been various cases reported that have been infected by
>other routes.  But these generally amount to less than 10 cases per
>unusual route.  As a matter of personal safety, one should look twice
>before crossing the street before worrying about other routes.
>You can probably get more (and better) information from
>Dale Worley		Dept. of Math., MIT		drw at

Dale is correct.  Although I'll claim to be a "card-carrying" member of the 
AAI, I'll make the disclaimer that I'm not an AIDS researcher.  I *try* to 
keep up with some areas of AIDS research...  

my $0.02 worth...

1) If the person you're sharing the razor with is infected, and has a 
bleeding cut, and leaves blood (bodily fluid) on the razor when you use it, 
AND you cut yourself and mix the blood from the razor with your blood, then 
maybe infection can occur... otherwise it is very unlikely that you would
be infected. 

2) I have heard that the virus has a half life on a dry surface of 7 
seconds.  It is very sensitive to drying, thus, doorknobs and toilet seats 
are definately out of the question!

3) Part of the viruses sensitivity is that it has a lipid coat.  Thus 
alcohols and detergents are very effective against the virus.  The CD4 
binding protein, gp120, is part of this lipid coating.  Remove the coating 
and you remove the viruses mode of attachment to cells.  Thus some condoms 
come with detergents, nonoxal-9 - if I recall correctly...

Hope this helps...

+  David L. Haviland, Ph.D.	     Internet:"haviland at"   +
+  Washington Univ. School of Med.   A.K.A : The Compiler                 +
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