Other body fluids

Published: 07 April 2009
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Urine

Although HIV antibodies are detectable in urine, HIV capable of infecting cells has not been isolated from urine; in one study HIV could not be cultured from the urine of any of the 48 people studied.1 There are no reported cases of HIV transmission through urine.

Tears

Researchers have found it difficult to isolate HIV from the tears of HIV-positive people. In one experiment it was possible to find HIV in the tears of only one person with AIDS out of seven tested, and impossible in five HIV-positive people with no symptoms.2 Another experiment using highly sensitive techniques looked at 50 HIV-positive people and failed to find HIV in the tears of any of them.3 There are no reported cases of HIV transmission through tears.

Faeces

HIV has never been isolated from faeces in an infectious form. Genetic material from HIV has been detected, but it has never been possible to culture the virus in the laboratory from faeces.

References

  1. Skolnik P et al. Absence of infectious HIV–1 in the urine of seropositive individuals. J Inf Dis 160(6): 1056-1060, 1989
  2. Fujikawa LS et al. Isolation of human lymphotropic virus type III from the tears of a patient with the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Lancet (ii): 529–530, 1985
  3. Mueller AJ et al. Infrequent detection of HIV-1 components in tears compared to blood of HIV-1-infected persons. Infection 20(5):249-52, 1992
This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

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We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.