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HIV and AIDS

Ways To Contract HIV?

04/12/2000

Question:

What other ways can you contract HIV?

Answer:

For 90% of the World, HIV is passed through sex. It is passed between men and women for 75% of the World`s cases. Two recent studies from Africa suggest there is no difference in the rate of passage from a man to a woman or from a woman to a man. It can pass through oral, anal or vaginal sex. HIV can also be passed by use of contaminated needles used for drug abuse. If an HIV infected drug abuser uses a needle and then shares with someone else, that person can get HIV infection. HIV can also pass from a mother to her newborn baby either in the womb, around the time of delivery or through breast feeding. The last way is from a blood transfusion. HIV from blood transfusions is very uncommon in the United States and Europe because the blood supply is tested for HIV. The risk of catching HIV from a blood transfusion is about the same as being struck by lightening (1 in a million). HIV is not passed by kissing, hugging, using someone else`s bathroom, towels, eating off someone`s plate, doorknobs or drinking from someone else`s glass. If a family member has HIV, there are only a few special precautions. Don`t use that person`s razor and if the person has a cut, it should be cleaned up promptly using household bleach and wearing gloves.

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati