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HIV/AIDS Transmission | Print |

HIV is a fragile virus. It cannot live for very long outside the body. As a result, the virus is not transmitted through day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets. You also cannot get HIV from mosquitoes.
 
HIV is primarily found in the blood, semen, or vaginal fluid of an infected person. HIV is transmitted in 3 main ways:

  • Having sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with someone infected with HIV
  • Sharing needles and syringes with someone infected with HIV
  • Exposure of a fetus or infant to HIV before or during birth or through breast feeding

HIV also can be transmitted through blood infected with HIV. However, since 1985, all donated blood in the United States has been tested for HIV. Therefore, the risk of HIV infection through the transfusion of blood or blood products is extremely low. The U.S. blood supply is considered among the safest in the world.

 

 
 

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