You can get or transmit HIV only through specific activities. Most commonly, people get or transmit HIV through sexual behaviors and needle or syringe use. Only certain body fluids—blood, semen cum , pre-seminal fluid pre-cum , rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk—from a person who has HIV can transmit HIV. These fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the bloodstream from a needle or syringe for transmission to occur.
Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, vagina, penis, and mouth. For the HIV-negative partner, receptive anal sex bottoming is the highest-risk sexual behavior, but you can also get HIV from insertive anal sex topping. Sharing needles or syringes, rinse water, or other equipment works used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV. HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.
Less commonly, HIV may be spread From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. Although the risk can be high if a mother is living with HIV and not taking medicine, recommendations to test all pregnant women for HIV and start HIV treatment immediately have lowered the number of babies who are born with HIV. By being stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers. In extremely rare cases, HIV has been transmitted by Oral sex—putting the mouth on the penis fellatio , vagina cunnilingus , or anus rimming.
This was more common in the early years of HIV, but now the risk is extremely small because of rigorous testing of the US blood supply and donated organs and tissues. Eating food that has been pre-chewed by an HIV-infected person.
The only known cases are among infants. Being bitten by a person with HIV. Each of the very small number of documented cases has involved severe trauma with extensive tissue damage and the presence of blood. There is no risk of transmission if the skin is not broken. Contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and HIV-infected blood or blood-contaminated body fluids.
Deep, open-mouth kissing if both partners have sores or bleeding gums and blood from the HIV-positive partner gets into the bloodstream of the HIV-negative partner. HIV is not spread through saliva. How well does HIV survive outside the body? HIV does not survive long outside the human body such as on surfaces , and it cannot reproduce outside a human host.
It is not spread by Mosquitoes, ticks, or other insects. Saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of an HIV-positive person. Can I get HIV from anal sex? In fact, anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. HIV can be found in certain body fluids—blood, semen cum , pre-seminal fluid pre-cum , or rectal fluids—of a person who has HIV.
Can I get HIV from vaginal sex? Most women who get HIV get it from vaginal sex. This is because vaginal fluid and blood can carry HIV. Can I get HIV from oral sex? Oral sex involves putting the mouth on the penis fellatio , vagina cunnilingus , or anus anilingus.
Factors that may increase the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex are ejaculation in the mouth with oral ulcers, bleeding gums, genital sores, and the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases STDs , which may or may not be visible.
You can get other STDs from oral sex. And, if you get feces in your mouth during anilingus, you can get hepatitis A and B, parasites like Giardia, and bacteria like Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. Is there a connection between HIV and other sexually transmitted infections? Some of the most common STDs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis, human papillomavirus HPV , genital herpes, and hepatitis.
The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. If the STD causes irritation of the skin for example, from syphilis, herpes, or human papillomavirus , breaks or sores may make it easier for HIV to enter the body during sexual contact.
Even STDs that cause no breaks or open sores for example, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis can increase your risk by causing inflammation that increases the number of cells that can serve as targets for HIV. This appears to happen because there is an increased concentration of HIV in the semen and genital fluids of HIV-positive people who also are infected with another STD. When the viral load is very low, it is called viral suppression.
However, a person with HIV can still potentially transmit HIV to a partner even if they have an undetectable viral load, because HIV may still be found in genital fluids semen, vaginal fluids. The viral load test only measures virus in blood. When this happens, they may be more likely to transmit HIV to partners. Sexually transmitted diseases increase viral load in genital fluids.
Can I get HIV from injecting drugs? Your risk for getting HIV is very high if you use needles or works such as cookers, cotton, or water after someone with HIV has used them. People who inject drugs, hormones, steroids, or silicone can get HIV by sharing needles or syringes and other injection equipment. Stopping injection and other drug use can lower your chances of getting HIV a lot.
You may need help to stop or cut down using drugs, but many resources are available. If you keep injecting drugs, you can lower your risk for getting HIV by using only new, sterile needles and works each time you inject. Never share needles or works. You may be more likely to have unplanned and unprotected sex, have a harder time using a condom the right way every time you have sex, have more sexual partners, or use other drugs, including injection drugs or meth.
Those behaviors can increase your risk of exposure to HIV. Being drunk or high affects your ability to make safe choices. Therapy, medicines, and other methods are available to help you stop or cut down on drinking or using drugs. Talk with a counselor, doctor, or other health care provider about options that might be right for you. This is called HIV superinfection. The new strain of HIV can replace the original strain or remain along with the original strain.
The effects of superinfection differ from person to person. Research suggests that a hard-to-treat superinfection is rare. Are health care workers at risk of getting HIV on the job? The risk of health care workers being exposed to HIV on the job occupational exposure is very low, especially if they use protective practices and personal protective equipment to prevent HIV and other blood-borne infections.
For health care workers on the job, the main risk of HIV transmission is from being stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. However, even this risk is small. Can I get HIV from receiving medical care?
Although HIV transmission is possible in health care settings, it is extremely rare. Careful practice of infection control, including universal precautions using protective practices and personal protective equipment to prevent HIV and other blood-borne infections , protects patients as well as health care providers from possible HIV transmission in medical and dental offices and hospitals. It is important to know that you cannot get HIV from donating blood.
Blood collection procedures are highly regulated and safe. Through saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of an HIV-positive person. By mosquitoes, ticks or other blood-sucking insects. Only certain body fluids—blood, semen cum , pre-seminal fluid pre-cum , rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk—from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV.
See How is HIV passed from one person to another? Can I get HIV from a tattoo or a body piercing? However, it is possible to get HIV from a reused or not properly sterilized tattoo or piercing needle or other equipment, or from contaminated ink. The risk of getting HIV this way is very low, but the risk increases when the person doing the procedure is unlicensed, because of the potential for unsanitary practices such as sharing needles or ink.
If you get a tattoo or a body piercing, be sure that the person doing the procedure is properly licensed and that they use only new or sterilized needles, ink, and other supplies. Can I get HIV from mosquitoes? HIV is not transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or any other insects. Can I get HIV from food? Even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus.
Are lesbians or other women who have sex with women at risk for HIV? Case reports of female-to-female transmission of HIV are rare. The well-documented risk of female-to-male transmission shows that vaginal fluids and menstrual blood may contain the virus and that exposure to these fluids through mucous membranes in the vagina or mouth could potentially lead to HIV infection. Is the risk of HIV different for different people? Some groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of many factors, including the status of their sex partners, their risk behaviors, and where they live.
When you live in a community where many people have HIV infection, the chances of having sex or sharing needles or other injection equipment with someone who has HIV are higher. Within any community, the prevalence of HIV can vary among different populations. Gay and bisexual men have the largest number of new diagnoses in the United States. Also, transgender women who have sex with men are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection, and injection drug users remain at significant risk for getting HIV.
Risky behaviors, like having anal or vaginal sex without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV, and sharing needles or syringes play a big role in HIV transmission. Anal sex is the highest-risk sexual behavior. If you do have HIV, being the insertive partner or top for anal sex is the highest-risk sexual activity for transmitting HIV. But there are more tools available today to prevent HIV than ever before. Choosing less risky sexual behaviors, taking medicines to prevent and treat HIV, and using condoms with lubricants are all highly effective ways to reduce the risk of getting or transmitting HIV.