How does someone get infected with HIV?

HIV spreads through contact with blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluid, vaginal fluids, or breast milk of an infected person. Transmission can occur from unsafe sex.

It can also result from exposure to blood through the sharing of used syringes or needles.

Women living with HIV can pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. It is also possible to become infected with HIV through a blood transfusion, although this is now very rare.

HIV cannot be passed on from one person to another through casual contact. There is no risk of infection when we share everyday items such as food, dishes, utensils, clothes, beds and toilets with a person living with HIV.

The virus is not spread from contact with sweat, tears, saliva, or a casual kiss from an infected person. People do not become infected from eating food prepared by a person living with HIV. People have not become infected with HIV through insect bites.

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