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HIV Transmission & Testing
How is HIV passed from one person to another
HIV is transmitted through blood and body fluids like semen and vaginal fluids. HIV can enter the body via contact with the bloodstream or by passing through delicate mucous membranes, such as inside the vagina, rectum or urethra.
HIV testing or an HIV test usually done in laboratories or using special testing kits can detect the presence of HIV in a person's blood.
Because HIV lives in blood as well as in body fluids like semen and vaginal fluids, blood or bodily fluids from an infected person need to get inside an uninfected person's body for an infection to occur (contact with saliva has never been known to cause HIV infection).
HIV transmission routes
- Through having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner
- When contact is made with HIV infected blood in transfusions and needle sharing
- As a baby of an HIV-infected mother, during pregnancy, labour or delivery, or through breastfeeding.
HIV Transmission questions
Common HIV transmission questions include whether or not HIV infection has symptoms, whether HIV affects certain people only, among others. Use this information to dispel myths around HIV transmission. Myths, and misinformation cause anxiety and fear and lead to discrimination of people living with HIV.