Transmission Facts

How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is transmitted if infected bodily fluids from one person get into another person's bloodstream. This may even occur through a sore or small cut.

Which bodily fluids can carry and transmit HIV?

Blood, vaginal fluids, semen, breast milk

**It is NOT transmitted in saliva. The virus does exist in saliva, but not in high enough amounts for transmission.

What ways can HIV can be transmitted?

- any kind of sexual intercourse
- IV drug use
- mother to baby (vertical transmission)
- blood transfusions (very rare)
- exposure to infected fluid, as in a needlestick

What are safe contacts (ways that HIV canNOT be transmitted)?

- touching, hugging, social kissing
- coughing
- sharing utensils
- sharing clothes
- swimming pools
- mosquitoes

So how can HIV be avoided?

Abstinence from sexual intercourse and IV drug use.
Abstinence means NOT participating in risky behavior.

HIV is different from cancer and heart disease because it is entirely preventable!

Use of condoms:

If you are going to have sex, condoms are the most effective way of preventing HIV (if used properly). Condoms are NOT as effective as abstinence.