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How Is HIV Transmitted?

STD Virus Infections Transmission Causes Testing, Guys Symptoms Prevention

What body fluids spread HIV disease infections?

The transmission of the HIV virus disease is by sexual contact with a infected guy or female, transmitted by sharing needles and/or syringes (primarily for drug injection) with a man or woman who has the condition, or, less commonly (and now very rarely in countries where blood is screened for HIV antibodies), through transfusions of infected blood or blood clotting factors.

Babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected before or during birth or through breast-feeding transmission after birth.

Workers in the health care area have been infected with the Contagious HIV after being stuck with needles containing immunodeficiency HIV-infected blood or, less frequently, after the diseased blood gets into a worker’s open cut or a mucous membrane (for example, the eyes or inside of the nose).

There has been only one instance of a male or female patients being infected by a health care worker in the USA; this involved HIV transmittal from a infected dentist to six patients. Investigations have been done involving more than 23,000 patients of 62 HIV-infected doctors, surgeons, and dentists, and no other cases of this type of transmission have been uncovered in the United States.

Some people fear that HIV contagious transmission might be transmitted in other ways; however, no scientific evidence to support any of these fears has been found. If HIV transmission were being transmitted through other routes (such as through air, water, or insects), the pattern of reported AIDS cases would be much different from what has been observed.

For example, if mosquitoes could transmit HIV infection, many more young children and preadolescents would have been diagnosed with AIDS ailment.

All reported cases suggesting new or potentially unknown routes of transmission are thoroughly investigated by state and local health departments with the assistance, guidance, and laboratory support from CDC. No additional routes of transmission have been recorded, despite a national sentinel system designed to detect just such an occurrence.

What men’s and women’s body fluids transmit HIV virus ailment?

These body fluids have been proven to spread HIV:

  • blood
  • semen
  • vaginal fluid
  • breast milk
  • other body fluids containing blood

These are additional body fluids that may transmit the virus that health care workers may come into contact with:

  • fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord
  • fluid surrounding bone joints
  • fluid surrounding an unborn baby


Casual contact through closed-mouth or “social” kissing is not a risk for transmission of HIV aliment. Because of the potential for contact with blood during “French” or open-mouth kissing, CDC recommends against engaging in this activity with a person known to be infected. However, the risk of acquiring HIV during open-mouth kissing is believed to be very low. CDC has investigated only one case of HIV infection that may be attributed to contact with blood during open-mouth kissing.


In 1997, CDC published findings from a state health department investigation of an incident that suggested blood-to-blood transmission of HIV by a human bite. There have been other reports in the medical literature in which HIV appeared to have been transmitted by a bite. Severe trauma with extensive tissue tearing and damage and presence of blood were reported in each of these instances. Biting is not a common way of transmitting HIV. In fact, there are numerous reports of bites that did not result in HIV infection.

Saliva, Tears, and Sweat

HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients. It is important to understand that finding a small amount of HIV in a body fluid does not necessarily mean that HIV can be transmitted by that body fluid. HIV has not been recovered from the sweat of HIV-infected persons. Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.


From the onset of the HIV epidemic, there has been concern about transmission of the virus by biting and bloodsucking insects. However, studies conducted by researchers at CDC and elsewhere have shown no evidence of HIV transmission through insects–even in areas where there are many cases of AIDS and large populations of insects such as mosquitoes. Lack of such outbreaks, despite intense efforts to detect them, supports the conclusion that HIV VD is not transmitted by insects.

Scientists and medical authorities agree that HIV does not survive well in the environment, making the possibility of environmental transmission remote. HIV is unable to reproduce outside its living host (unlike many bacteria or fungi, which may do so under suitable conditions), except under laboratory conditions, therefore, it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host.

Andrew Faix

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