Note: this site last updated in 2006
HIV cannot survive outside the body
An article from "The Molecules of HIV" (c) Dan Stowell
A HIV virus particle cannot survive on its own outside the body - it normally lasts no longer than a few seconds when exposed to air.
Remember that HIV, like any other virus, is not alive. It doesn't "die" outside the body, it just gets destroyed by the outside environment. It may seem odd to talk about a HIV life-cycle if HIV isn't alive. Perhaps "infection cycle" would be a better phrase than "life cycle".
Please remember that this site is not a source of medical advice - it's only about the molecular biology of the HIV virus.