Ask an HIV Educator

How is HIV transmitted?

Only four body fluid transmit HIV

  1. Blood
  2. Semen
  3. Vaginal Fluids
  4. Breast milk

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are seven common ways that HIV is transmitted.

Anal sex – Whether male or female, HIV can be passed during anal sex.

Needles – Sharing a needle for any reason can transmit HIV because the air-tight space inside of a needle can allow viruses to live for a long time.

Vaginal Sex

Oral Sex – Many people consider oral sex foreplay or “safe” sex but HIV can be transmitted.

Childbirth – A positive woman can pass HIV to her child, but the mother must be positive.  The chances of passing HIV to a baby is lower than people think – as low as 6% if the mother takes medications during pregnancy and has a C-Section.

Breastfeeding – Breast milk transmit HIV.  Anyone who ingests the breastmilk of a positive person can get the virus (people sometimes assume only children can get HIV through breastfeeding).

Blood transfusions – It is very rare that HIV is transmitted through a blood transfusion in the United States.  Donated blood is thoroughly checked.


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