HIV transmission can occur when blood, semen (including pre-seminal fluid or “pre-cum”), vaginal fluid, or breast milk from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. HIV can enter the body through the anus or rectum, the vagina, the penis, the mouth, other mucous membranes (e.g., eyes or inside of the nose), cuts and sores or through a vein (e.g., injection drug use). Intact, healthy skin is an excellent barrier against HIV and other viruses and bacteria. These are the most common ways that HIV is transmitted from one person to another.
Other common ways HIV can be transmitted include:
The risk of transmission through transfusion of blood or blood products is extremely low. The U.S. blood supply is considered to be among the safest in the world.
Some health-care workers have contracted HIV after being stuck with needles contaminated by the HIV virus or, less frequently, after blood contact with the worker’s open cut or through splashes into the worker’s eyes or inside their nose. HIV is not easily transmitted. It is NOT spread through the air, through water, by insects, or during ordinary social contact. It has NEVER been transmitted by casual contact
This HIV Risk Assessment is a quick and simple way to give you a sense of whether you should get an HIV test. Answer Yes or No to Each Question Below
1. In the last three months, have you had condomless vaginal, anal or oral sex with anyone whose HIV status you didn’t know, or whose status is different than yours?
2. Have you had a sexually transmitted disease within the past five years, such as Chlamydia, Human Papilloma Virus (genital warts), Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, or Hepatitis A, B, or C?
3. Are any of your current or past sex partners HIV positive?
4. Have you ever exchanged sex for money, drugs, alcohol or a place to stay or have you ever paid a person to have sex?
5. Do you use drugs or alcohol before or during sex?
6. Have you ever used a needle to inject drugs into your veins or under your skin, including steroids?
7. Have any of your current or past sex partners ever injected drugs into their veins or under their skin, including steroids?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be at risk for HIV.