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HOWDOYOUGETHIVOR

AIDS?
(https://www.aids.gov/hivaidsbasics/hivaids101/howyou
gethivaids/index.html#how)

(https://www.aids.gov/hivaidsbasics/hivaids101/howyou
gethivaids/index.html#how)

(https://www.aids.gov/hivaidsbasics/hivaids101/howyou
gethivaids/index.html#how)

HOWISHIVSPREAD?
YoucangetortransmitHIVonlythroughspecificactivities.Mostcommonly,peoplegetortransmitHIVthroughsexualbehaviors
andneedleorsyringeuse.
HIVisnotspreadeasily.OnlycertainbodyfluidsfromapersonwhohasHIVcantransmitHIV:
Blood
Semen(cum)
Preseminalfluid(precum)
Rectalfluids
Vaginalfluids
Breastmilk

Thesebodyfluidsmustcomeintocontactwithamucousmembraneordamagedtissueorbedirectlyinjectedintoyour
bloodstream(byaneedleorsyringe)fortransmissiontooccur.Mucousmembranesarefoundinsidetherectum,vagina,penis,
andmouth.
IfyouthinkyoumayhavebeenexposedtoHIV,gettested.Youcangettestedatyourhealthcareprovidersoffice,aclinic,and
otherlocations.YoucanalsogetaHIVhometestkitfromyourlocalpharmacy.UsetheAIDS.govHIVTestingandCareServices
Locator(https://locator.aids.gov)tofindatestingsitenearyou.

WAYSHIVISTRANSMITTED
IntheUnitedStates,HIVisspreadmainlyby:
HavinganalorvaginalsexwithsomeonewhohasHIVwithoutusingacondomortakingmedicinestopreventortreatHIV.
Analsexisthehighestrisksexualbehavior.FortheHIVnegativepartner,receptiveanalsex(bottoming)isriskierthan
insertiveanalsex(topping).
Vaginalsexisthesecondhighestrisksexualbehavior.

Sharingneedlesorsyringes,rinsewater,orotherequipment(works)usedtoprepareinjectiondrugswithsomeonewho
hasHIV.HIVcanliveinausedneedleupto42daysdependingontemperatureandotherfactors.
Lesscommonly,HIVmaybespread:
Frommothertochildduringpregnancy,birth,orbreastfeeding.AlthoughtheriskcanbehighifamotherislivingwithHIV
andnottakingmedicine,recommendationstotestallpregnantwomenforHIVandstartHIVtreatmentimmediatelyhave
loweredthenumberofbabieswhoarebornwithHIV.
BybeingstuckwithanHIVcontaminatedneedleorothersharpobject.Thisisariskmainlyforhealthcareworkers.
Inextremelyrarecases,HIVhasbeentransmittedby:
Oralsexputtingthemouthonthepenis(fellatio),vagina(cunnilingus),oranus(rimming).Ingeneral,thereislittletonorisk
ofgettingHIVfromoralsex.ButtransmissionofHIV,thoughextremelyrare,istheoreticallypossibleifanHIVpositiveman
ejaculatesinhispartnersmouthduringoralsex.Tolearnmoreabouthowtoloweryourrisk,seeCDCsOralSexandHIV
Risk(http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/behavior/oralsex.html).
Receivingbloodtransfusions,bloodproducts,ororgan/tissuetransplantsthatarecontaminatedwithHIV.Thiswasmore
commonintheearlyyearsofHIV,butnowtheriskisextremelysmallbecauseofrigoroustestingoftheU.S.bloodsupply
anddonatedorgansandtissues(/hivaidsbasics/prevention/reduceyourrisk/bloodtransfusionsorgandonation/).
EatingfoodthathasbeenprechewedbyanHIVinfectedperson.Thecontaminationoccurswheninfectedbloodfroma
caregiversmouthmixeswithfoodwhilechewing.Theonlyknowncasesareamonginfants.
BeingbittenbyapersonwithHIV.Eachoftheverysmallnumberofdocumentedcaseshasinvolvedseveretraumawith
extensivetissuedamageandthepresenceofblood.Thereisnoriskoftransmissioniftheskinisnotbroken.
Contactbetweenbrokenskin,wounds,ormucousmembranesandHIVinfectedbloodorbloodcontaminatedbodyfluids.
Deep,openmouthkissingifthepersonwithHIVhassoresorbleedinggumsandbloodfromtheHIVpositivepartnergets
intothebloodstreamoftheHIVnegativepartner.HIVisnotspreadthroughsaliva.

HIVISNOTSPREADBY
HIVdoesnotsurvivelongoutsidethehumanbody(suchasonsurfaces)anditcannotreproduceoutsideahumanhost.Itisnot
spreadby:
Airorwater
Mosquitoes,ticksorotherinsects
Saliva,tears,orsweatthatisnotmixedwiththebloodofanHIVpositiveperson
Shakinghands,hugging,sharingtoilets,sharingdishes/drinkingglasses,orclosedmouthorsocialkissingwithsomeone
whoisHIVpositive
Drinkingfountains
Othersexualactivitiesthatdontinvolvetheexchangeofbodyfluids(forexample,touching).

HIVTREATMENTREDUCESTRANSMISSIONRISK
PeoplewithHIVwhoareusingantiretroviraltherapy(ART)consistentlyandwhohaveachievedviralsuppression(havingthe
virusreducedtoanundetectablelevelinthebody)areveryunlikelytotransmitthevirustotheiruninfectedpartners.However,
thereisstillsomeriskoftransmission(http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html),soevenwithanundetectableviralload,

peoplewithHIVandtheirpartnersshouldcontinuetotakestepstoreducetheriskofHIVtransmission(/hivaids
basics/prevention/reduceyourrisk/sexualriskfactors/).

IIHAVEHIV,DOESTHATMEANIHAVEAIDS?
No.ThetermsHIVandAIDScanbeconfusingbecausebothtermsrefertothesamedisease.However,HIVreferstothe
virusitself,andAIDSreferstothelatestageofHIVinfection(/hivaidsbasics/justdiagnosedwithhivaids/hivinyour
body/stagesofhiv/),whenanHIVinfectedpersonsimmunesystemisseverelydamagedandhasdifficultyfightingdiseasesand
certaincancers.Beforethedevelopmentofcertainmedications,peoplewithHIVcouldprogresstoAIDSinjustafewyears.But
today,mostpeoplewhoareHIVpositivedonotprogresstoAIDS.ThatsbecauseifyouhaveHIVandyoutakeARTconsistently,
youcankeepthelevelofHIVinyourbodylow.Thiswillhelpkeepyourbodystrongandhealthyandreducethelikelihoodthat
youwilleverprogresstoAIDS.ItwillalsohelploweryourriskoftransmittingHIVtoothers.
FormoreinformationaboutthedifferencebetweenHIVandAIDS,seeWhatIsHIV/AIDS(/hivaidsbasics/hivaids101/whatis
hivaids/index.html)?

WASTHISPAGEHELPFUL?
Selectanswer:

Yes

No

FormApprovedOMB#09900379Exp.Date8/31/2017

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RELATEDTOPICSONAIDS.GOV
SymptomsofHIV(/hivaidsbasics/hivaids101/signsandsymptoms/)
LowerYourSexualRiskofHIV(/hivaidsbasics/prevention/reduceyourrisk/sexualriskfactors/)
UnderstandingRiskActivities(/hivaidsbasics/prevention/reduceyourrisk/understandingriskactivities/)
SubstanceAbuse/Use(/hivaidsbasics/prevention/reduceyourrisk/substanceabuseuse/)
BloodTransfusions/OrganDonation(/hivaidsbasics/prevention/reduceyourrisk/bloodtransfusionsorgandonation/)
Pregnancy&Childbirth(/hivaidsbasics/prevention/reduceyourrisk/pregnancyandchildbirth/)

ADDITIONALRESOURCES
CDCHIVTransmission(http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html)
CDCHIVTransmissionRisk(http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/risk.html)
CDCHIVRiskReductionTool(https://wwwn.cdc.gov/hivrisk/)
NIHQuickFactsAboutHIVTransmission(http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/HIVAIDS/Understanding/Pages/riskFactors.aspx)
OWHHowHIVIsSpread(http://womenshealth.gov/hivaids/whatishivaids/howhivisspread.html)
VAHowIsHIVSpread?(http://www.hiv.va.gov/patient/basics/howHIVspread.asp)
Lastrevised:12/31/2015