How is HIV Transmitted?

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be transmitted four ways:

  • During sex with someone who has HIV
  • Blood to blood contact, such as sharing needles or syringes
  • From mother to child during breast feeding
  • From mother to child during pregnancy or birth

YOU CANNOT GET HIV FROM EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES

HIV is a fragile virus, and does not live very long outside the body.

HIV IS NOT TRANSMITTED BY:

  • Kissing
  • Shaking hands
  • Hugging
  • Toilet seats
  • Drinking fountains
  • Doorknobs
  • Sharing dishes
  • Sharing drinking glasses
  • Sharing utensils
  • Food
  • Pets
  • Mosquito bites

Am I at risk for HIV?

Anyone can get HIV, but you may be at increased risk for infection if you have:

  • injected drugs or steroids, during which equipment (such as needles, syringes, cotton, water) and blood were shared with others
  • had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex (that is, sex without using condoms) with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners
  • exchanged sex for drugs or money
  • been given a diagnosis of, or been treated for, hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as syphilis
  • received a blood transfusion or clotting factor during 1978-1985
  • had unprotected sex with someone who has any of the risk factors listed above

What can I do to stay safe?

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center's "Safer Sex: A Guide for Us" is an informational booklet available in PDF format. If you don't have Acrobat Reader, you can download it here for free. There is no restriction on printing or emailing these materials. Please share them with your friends and family.

PLEASE NOTE, THIS BROCHURE CONTAINS INFORMATION AND IMAGES RELATED TO SAFER SEX PRACTICES. SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND THIS MATERIAL OBJECTIONABLE.

"Safer Sex: A Guide for Us" is available in four languages:

Should I Get Tested?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should probably get tested for HIV:

  • Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?
  • Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis?
  • Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?

Are you living with HIV?

Please check out our resources page, with links to find resources in your area.

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CDC Disclaimer: This site contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this website.

The Banyan Tree Project is a program of Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

Our partners are nonprofit and community-based organizations dedicated to providing HIV referrals, education, outreach, advocacy, prevention and care services to A&PI communities.

This web site was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U65PS002095-01 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Taking Root Digital Storytelling Initiative is also supported by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Office of Minority Health Resource Center.