How is HIV Transmitted? : Introduction

A Smart + Strong Site
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
How is HIV Transmitted?
en español


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was established as the cause of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in 1983. Ever since then, a lot of research has been conducted and a great deal of information has been generated regarding the ways HIV can be transmitted from one person to another.

The problem with much of the information about HIV transmission, especially on the Internet, is that it speaks in very general terms. All too often, advice from one site will directly contradict advice from another site as well. For example, some sources refer to oral sex as "risky," whereas others say it is "low risk" or "no risk." This can be very frustrating and it also leads to the spread of misinformation, and frequently a lot of unnecessary worry, about the transmission of HIV.

HIV infection—and HIV testing—is a medical issue. We have developed this lesson to provide straightforward and accurate information regarding HIV transmission. However, it is important to stress that this lesson—and other sources of HIV information on the Internet—should not be consulted as an alternative to medical care and testing. If you fear that you have been exposed to HIV—regardless of how low the perceived risk and no matter how much information you find on the Internet—you need to get in touch with your health care provider or an HIV testing center.


Last Revised: August 17, 2012

This content is written by the POZ and AIDSmeds editorial team. For more information, please visit our "About Us" page.

Prevention updates
High Efficacy for PrEP Among Gay Men in English Study

Failed Pediatric HIV Vaccines May Offer Protection After All

Just Half of HIV-Diagnosed Gay and Bi Men Receive Treatment

Gay Men, Especially Youths, Are Tuned Out Where HIV Is Concerned

Americans Adhered Well to PrEP in Global iPrEx Study

Targeting PrEP to High-Risk Gays Would Lower HIV—For a Huge Price

New HIV Antibody Target Could Aid a Vaccine, Treatment or PrEP

Gays’ Desire for Intimacy With Main Partner Is Linked to PrEP Interest

Vancouver Injection Drug Users Moderately Interested in PrEP

Researchers Using Tobacco to Cultivate Agent for HIV Microbicide

Higher Rates of Condom Misuse or Failure in Black Gay Men

Testing, Safer Sex Reduces HIV in SF Gays Compared With London

Program for Drug-Using Couples Lowers Hep C and Risky Sex Rates

Only 1 in 5 Primary Care Docs Routinely Screen for HIV

Condoms Aren’t the Only Way That Gay Men Reduce HIV Risk

Significant Drop in Global New HIV Cases and AIDS Deaths

New Vaccine Clears AIDS-Causing Virus in Monkeys

PrEP Adherence Curbs HIV Transmission in Straight Couples

Partner Violence May Reduce Female-Initiated HIV Prevention

Circumcision Program in South African Town Reduces HIV Rates

> More Treatment News

Search for news stories about this topic

Lesson Index
Collapse All | Up One Level

Tell us what you think
Have you visited your health care provider within the last 4 months?

The Power of Prevention

more surveys

[ about AIDSmeds | AIDSmeds advisory board | our staff | advertising policy | advertise/contact us]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.