Ways of transmission

On the one hand, many people do not know how to deal with HIV-infected people because they fear to infect themselves. On the other hand, HIV-infected people often fear to be a hazard for their environment. To face your own fears and the fears of other people, it is very important to be informed about the way HIV can be transmitted.

How HIV is not transmitted?

HIV cannot be transmitted during the daily contact with other people. Normal physical contacts such as shaking hands, giving someone a hug or playing with children are not dangerous as well as contact with sweat, spittle or tears. Also the common use of restrooms, cooking facilities and mosquito bites are not risky.

How is HIV transmitted?

HIV can access the body by several ways:

  • via the mucous membranes (vagina, gut, oral mucosa, urethra)
  • direct infiltration of the blood (i. e. contaminated injections, blood transfusion)
  • from mother to child (birth delivery, breastfeeding)
  • via injured skin

The highest risk of an infection with HIV displays unprotected sexual intercourse. Nowadays, transmission of HIV by blood products, organ transplants or contaminated medical tools is very rare in developed nations.

The best measures to avoid a sexual infection with HIV are:

  • use of condoms
  • choose your partners wisely
  • no risky and hence injuring techniques

What is HIV?


Course of the infection

Treatment of HIV-infections 

Postexposure-prophylaxis (PEP)