How is HIV Transmitted?

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:
POZ Focus

Back to home » HIV 101 » POZ Focus » How is HIV Transmitted?

Table of Contents

 
How is HIV Transmitted?

 
What You're Talking About
Let's Kick ASS - AIDS Survivor Syndrome (36 comments)

Why I Still (Kinda, Sorta) Go to the Gym (blog) (16 comments)

FDA Approves Gilead’s Hep C Drug Harvoni (via Hep) (9 comments)

Ebola vs. AIDS, Obama vs. Reagan (blog) (8 comments)

Health Care is a Human Right (8 comments)

90 Years Old and HIV Positive (7 comments)
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

 

How is HIV Transmitted?

HIV enters the body through open cuts, sores or breaks in the skin; through mucous membranes, such as those inside the anus or vagina; or through direct injection. There are several ways by which this can happen:

  • Sexual contact with an infected person. Anal or vaginal intercourse without a condom with a partner who is either positive or does not know his or her HIV status account for the vast majority of sexually-transmitted HIV cases in the U.S. and elsewhere. Oral sex is not an efficient route of HIV transmission. To learn more about the "theoretical risk" of oral sex and HIV transmission, click here. Kissing, massage, masturbation and "hand jobs" do not spread HIV. More information about safer sex to help prevent HIV transmission can be found here.
     
  • Sharing needles, syringes or other injection equipment with someone who is infected. Information on safer injecting to help prevent the spread of HIV can be found here.
     
  • Mother-to-child transmission. Babies born to HIV-positive women can be infected with the virus before or during birth, or through breastfeeding after birth. More information about HIV and pregnancy can be found here.
     
  • Transmission in health care settings. Healthcare professionals have been infected with HIV in the workplace, usually after being stuck with needles or sharp objects containing HIV-infected blood. As for HIV-positive healthcare providers infecting their patients, there have only been six documented cases, all involving the same HIV-positive dentist in the 1980s.
     
  • Transmission via donated blood or blood clotting factors. However, this is now very rare in countries where blood is screened for HIV antibodies, including in the United States.

HIV has been detected in saliva, tears and urine. However, HIV in these fluids is only found in extremely low concentrations. What's more, there hasn't been a single case of HIV transmission through these fluids reported. HIV cannot be transmitted through day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging or casual kissing. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, or sharing food or eating utensils with someone who is positive. You also cannot get HIV from mosquitoes.

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, new or potentially unknown routes of transmission have been thoroughly investigated by state and local health departments, in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To date, no additional routes of transmission have been recorded, despite a national system designed to detect unusual cases.

 


Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Is youth leadership important in the HIV/AIDS fight?
Yes
No

Survey
Smoke Signals

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.