In order for HIV to spread an infected person’s blood, semen (if they’re male), vaginal fluid, or breast milk would have to get into the other person’s bloodstream.
The most common ways that HIV can get into a person’s bloodstream are:
- Sharing needles
- Having unprotected sex (without a condom)
- Small tears in the anus and vagina from anal and vaginal sex
- Through the tube of the penis, called the urethra, which carries fluids to the outside of the body
- Open sores and irritations from other STIs
If you think that you might be infected with HIV, if you’ve been exposed to someone whom you suspect or know to be HIV positive, or if you have symptoms, get tested and see your health care provider right away.