Page 1 of 2HIV transmits through three main routes.
- Sexual contact with HIV infected person.
- Exposure to infected body fluids (like infected blood) or tissues.
- From mother to fetus or child
- Sharing needles when shooting drugs
- Home tattooing and body piercing
- Accidental needle sticks
- Blood transfusions
Sexual contact can be of three types: Vaginal, Anal and Oral.
- Vaginal sex (penis in the vagina)
- Anal sex (penis in the anus) involving either men or women
- Oral sex (mouth on the penis or vagina)
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) increase the risk of HIV transmission and infection 4 times because of the genital ulceration and/or micro ulceration; and by accumulation of pools of HIV-susceptible or HIV-infected cells ( lymphocytes and macrophages ) in semen and vaginal secretions.
The body fluids containing HIV include
- Blood (including menstrual blood)
- Semen and possibly pre-seminal fluid ("pre-cum")
- Vaginal secretions
- Breast milk
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