Ways of getting HIV

    • Brief

    • You can get HIV through sex and other ways of transmission. You can get infected with HIV when you contact the body fluids of people who already have HIV. HIV can be transmitted through semen, vaginal fluid, blood and breast milk. Infected semen, vaginal fluid and blood from the menstrual period can enter your body via the mucous membrane of the anus, glans (tip) of the penis, vagina and mouth.

      Infected blood can reach your blood directly by sharing used injection materials or through blood transfusion.

      HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva (e.g. when you kiss someone).

    • Transmission through sex

    • You can get HIV:

      • Through vaginal sex or anal sex without a condom with someone who has HIV.
      • There is only a minimal risk of contracting HIV through oral sex (if semen or blood from a person with HIV gets into your mouth and you have broken skin there).

      With the right treatment, an HIV-positive person whose virus level can not be detected cannot infect others when practising safe sex. HIV when having sex without a condom.

    • Transmission in other ways

      • From mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or when breastfeeding. With the right treatment, women with HIV can have healthy children.
      • By sharing used injection materials with someone with HIV.
      • Through blood transfusion. 
    • No transmission through casual contact

    • You cannot get HIV through social contact. For instance by sharing a glass or plate with someone, by touching someone or by kissing or giving someone a French kiss.
      It is not possible to know if someone has HIV by just looking at them.

    • Protection against HIV

    • People with HIV can infect others if they do not get treatment. Many people do not know they have HIV. Protect yourself and use condoms during sex.