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Government Of Assam Health & Family Welfare Assam State AIDS Control Society

Mode of HIV Transmission

HIV is spread mostly through four body fluids:

  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Blood
  • Breast milk

HIV is NOT spread through:

  • Tears
  • Sweat
  • Feces
  • Urine

How is HIV spread through blood?

You can become infected if you have contact with the blood of someone who is infected with HIV. Blood-borne infection with HIV can occur through:

  • Sharing injection equipment when shooting drugs
  • Getting tattoos or body piercings with unsterilized needles
  • Accidental needle sticks
  • Blood transfusions
  • Splashing blood in your eyes

HIV is NOT spread by blood passed through insect bites.

If you inject drugs, the best thing to do is to use new or sterilized injection equipment every time. You can also take a daily medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to lower your risk of HIV.

Can mothers pass HIV to their babies?

Infection can pass from HIV positive pregnant women to their babies in the womb and during birth. Taking anti-HIV drugs during pregnancy and childbirth dramatically lowers the risk of a baby becoming infected with HIV.

After birth, transmission can occur through breast milk of infected women. The highest risk may be in the early months after birth. It is recommended that HIV-positive new mothers bottle-feed their babies rather than breast-feed.

If you are an HIV-positive woman and intend to become pregnant, or you find out that you are HIV positive during your pregnancy, talk to your doctor immediately about ways to minimize the chances that your baby will become infected, too.