How is HIV Transmitted?

A Smart + Strong Site
Subscribe to:
E-newsletters
POZ magazine
JOIN AIDSMEDS YouTube
How is HIV Transmitted?
en español

How is HIV Transmitted?

HIV enters the body through open cuts, sores, or breaks in the skin; through mucous membranes, such as those inside the anus or vagina; or through direct injection. There are several ways by which this can happen:

Sexual contact with an infected person. This is the primary focus of this lesson and is reviewed in greater detail in the following sections.
 
Sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment with someone who is infected.
 
Mother-to-child transmission. Babies born to HIV-positive women can be infected with the virus before or during birth, or through breastfeeding after birth. More information about HIV and pregnancy can be found in this lesson.
 
Transmission in health care settings. Healthcare professionals have been infected with HIV in the workplace, usually after being stuck with needles or sharp objects containing HIV-infected blood. As for HIV-positive healthcare providers infecting their patients, there have only been six documented cases, all involving the same HIV-positive dentist in the 1980s.
 
Transmission via donated blood or blood clotting factors. However, this is now very rare in countries where blood is screened for HIV antibodies, including in the United States.

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, new or potentially unknown routes of transmission have been thoroughly investigated by state and local health departments, in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To date, no additional routes of transmission have been recorded, despite a national system designed to detect unusual cases.


back next

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.

TREATMENT NEWS
Prevention updates
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

PrEP Did Not Increase Sexual Risks in Study of Gay Men

HIV Vaccine Based on Whole Virus Completes Phase I Trial

U.S. Revises Guidelines for Occupational HIV Exposure

Negative Gay Men Consider Viral Load Before Unprotected Sex


> More Treatment News

Search for news stories about this topic

Lesson Index
Collapse All | Up One Level

TALK TO US
Tell us what you think
Poll
Have you visited your health care provider within the last 4 months?
Yes
No


Survey
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.