Transmission of HIV

      How is HIV spread?

The spread of HIV from person to person is called HIV transmission. HIV is spread only in certain body fluids from a person who has HIV. These body fluids include:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Pre-seminal fluid
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Rectal fluids
  • Breast milk

             HIV transmission is only possible through contact with HIV-infected body fluids. In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:

  • Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV
  • Sharing injection drug equipment (works), such as needles, with someone who has HIV

             The spread of HIV from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding is called mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

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