Health Facts - STD FAQS
Back to STD FAQ Home Glossary
HIV / AIDS
Are Semen and Vaginal Secretions the only fluids that can carry the AIDS virus?
HIV is transmitted in blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk.
Transmission of the virus occurs:
• Through sexual contact – Having unprotected intercourse with someone who has the virus, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
• Through blood -- via blood transfusions (now extremely rare in the U.S) or needle sharing.
• From mother to child -- a pregnant woman can transmit the virus to her fetus through their shared blood circulation, or a nursing mother can transmit it to her baby in her milk.
Other transmission methods are rare and include accidental needle injury, artificial insemination with donated semen, and organ transplants.
HIV virus can enter the body through the mucous membranes that line the vagina, rectum, urethra, and possibly the mouth. Damage to these mucous membranes such as exposure of bloodstream is not necessary for transmission.
HIV infection is not spread by casual contact such as hugging, by touching items previously touched by a person infected with the virus, during participation in sports, sharing drinking glasses, or kissing.
There have been no documented cases of HIV contraction from urine, sweat, and saliva.
This question has been viewed 2503 times so far.
Click Here to View all the questions in HIV / AIDS category.
- How easy is HIV to catch?
- What is AIDS?
- Who is really at greatest risk for getting HIV?
- How many people have AIDS?
- What are the symptoms of HIV?
- Is HIV fatal for everyone who has it?
- For additional information about AIDS and HIV
- Are there any morning after pills to prevent transmission of AIDS in the case that a condom has broken?
- I’ve heard a lot of different things about HIV surviving outside the body. What is the truth?
- How many people have HIV/AIDS?
- Can I get HIV from kissing?
- Does having HIV mean my life can never be normal again?
- Can I get HIV from performing oral sex?
- How can I tell if someone has HIV?
- How can I tell if I have HIV?
- Are there medical treatments for people with HIV disease?
- How could I get HIV?
- Does this mean that everyone infected with HIV is going to die from it?
- What medications are available for HIV?
- If I have HIV, can I get another STI?
- Is there a cure for HIV and AIDS?
- What is the best way to prevent sexual transmission of HIV?
- When are there symptoms?
- What can a pregnant woman do if she thinks she has been exposed to HIV?
- How do you prevent HIV transmission among injection drug users?
- Where can I get tested for HIV?
- What tests are available to see if someone is infected with HIV?
- Why are these called “opportunistic infections?”
- How does HIV lead to AIDS?
- Are there other ways of testing for HIV?
- Can I get HIV from a blood transfusions?
- What is a retrovirus?
- Can I get HIV by donating blood?
- What are some of the common AIDS-defining conditions?
- Should I be tested?
- If someone is infected with HIV but they do not get sick from it, can they still transmit it to others?
- Can I get HIV from mosquitoes?
- What if I have HIV?
- What does HIV do?
- How can I avoid getting HIV?
- What is HIV?
- If a woman living with HIV is pregnant, will the pregnancy affect the progression of her HIV disease? What about passing it to the fetus?
- Is there a difference between HIV and AIDS?
- Are any tests available for someone who already knows they are infected with HIV?