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HIV survivability in wastewater

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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is one of the major health concerns in the world today. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, has been identified in body fluids and excretions from infected individuals. These body fluids and excretions may result in the presence of HIV in raw wastewater.

The objective of this research was to determine the survivability of HIV in raw wastewater and wastewater that had been subjected to various degrees of treatment. To accomplish this objective, wastewater samples were collected, inoculated with known concentrations of HIV, and held at room temperature for up to 72 hours before concentration and assay.

Results presented in this paper indicate that infectious HIV is fairly stable in wastewater for up to 12 hours but experiences a 2 to 3-log reduction in infectivity after 48 hours. When compared to poliovirus under similar conditions, HIV survival was significantly less.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; survivability; virus; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1992

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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