How does HIV get spread?

HIV may be found in the blood cells, bodily fluids, and secretions of infected persons in varying quantities at different times. For instance, HIV may be easily isolated in semen, vaginal secretions, and blood. It also has been isolated in breast milk. The virus is transmitted from infected person to others through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk.

HIV may be transmitted by

  • Unprotected penetrative sex with an infected person
  • Transfusion of infected blood from one person to another
  • Through the use of un-sterilized needles and syringes
  • From an infected mother to her child 

Through Unprotected Penetrative Sex

Sexual contact with an infected person is the most commonly found mode of HIV transmission till date, especially through unprotected sex, which stands for any sexual act involving penetration without a condom.

  • One could get infected with HIV if he/she has sex with an infected man / woman without taking proper protection.
  • One might get infected at the very first time he/she indulges in sex if the partner is already carrying the infection.
  • If one indulges into sex with many partners, he/she has a high chance of getting infected with HIV as in that case, it becomes a tough task to know whether the partner is already infected or not. 

Through Infected blood

HIV can enter the body when blood that contain HIV is given to a person through blood transfusion.

Through Infected Needle

This mode of transmission includes the use of contaminated needles and syringes, transfusions involving HIV-infected blood, and transplants involving HIV-infected organs and tissues.

When an infected person injects intravenous drugs, the needle and the syringe used become contaminated with infected blood. If another person uses these implements without sterilizing them, the HIV-contaminated blood of the first user enters the bloodstream of the second.

HIV can also enter the body when sharp tools used to cut the skin (such as ear piercing) are not cleaned and sterilized properly.

From infected mother to the child

The chances of passing HIV to child from infected mother before or during birth are about one in four, or 25 percent, for each pregnancy while the mother is already infected to the virus.

The virus can be transmitted from infected mother to child

  • During pregnancy
  • During birth
  • During breast-feeding

There are about 30 percent chances of passing the HIV infection from a mother to her child through breast milk.