Sex Advice

Dear Dr. Locker: How does HIV get into your body?

Answer from Dr. Locker

HIV can be transmitted from infected blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk getting into the bloodstream through a cut, or mucous membrane from vaginal sex, anal sex, infected drug needles, oral sex, and breast feeding.

Blood contains the highest concentration of HIV, followed by semen, then vaginal fluids, then breast milk. Therefore, the easiest way to contract HIV is when your bloodstream comes into contact with infected blood (like using a dirty needle). The next easiest way to get HIV is when infected semen gets into your bloodstream (like from having unprotected anal sex, or vaginal sex).

You can NOT get HIV from casual contact. That means that you can NOT get it from kissing, holding hands, hugging, sharing food, or swimming in a pool with someone who has it. You also can NOT get it from a mosquito bite.

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