– Modes of transmission –
HIV cannot be transmitted through day-to-day activities
such as sharing a meal, doing dishes or laundry, touching someone, having a conversation, working with a person living with HIV… None of these activities carries any risk of transmission.
HIV is transmitted by:
?From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
Sexual relations without a condom with either vaginal or anal penetration are the primary modes of transmission for the virus. It doesn’t take much; a single sexual encounter is enough for the virus to be transmitted.
During oral sex, if there are any lesions present in the mouth (ulcers, irritation of the gums…), then contact between the oral and genital mucosa can become an entry point for HIV.
Even sex toys should be used with a condom, and should be changed with each use.
Intravenous drug use is also a common mode of transmission of the virus. It is imperative to use only sterile injection material and never to share syringes to shoot up.
Acupuncture, tattooing, and piercing also carry a risk if the rules of sterilization and hygiene are not respected, or materials are used more than once.
When a woman has HIV, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding all carry a risk of transmitting the virus to the child. Where available, treatments have greatly reduced these risks.
Avoid sharing any personal hygiene items that could come in contact with blood: razors, toothbrushes…
HIV cannot be transmitted by kissing. Or by coughing, or sneezing. Infection cannot be transmitted by a mosquito bite.