Tutorial to help answer this question
Which activity has a high risk of HIV transmission?
- Living with someone who is HIV+
- Receiving a blood transfusion today, with blood that has been
screened for HIV
- Sexual intercourse without a condom
- Working as a paramedic
Blood, semen (including pre-ejaculation fluid), vaginal secretions, and breast milk
of infected individuals all contain high concentrations of HIV and can transmit
HIV. These fluids must have direct access to your bloodstream in order to infect
you. Activities where this can happen include vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse,
performing oral sex, sharing unsterilized needles for IV drug use or tattoos,
and through receiving a blood transfusion where the blood has not been screened
for HIV. (The US blood supply has been screened for HIV since 1985.)
HIV is NOT transmitted through any form of casual contact. HIV is NOT transmitted
through shaking hands, hugging, kissing, massaging, or living in the same house
with someone who is HIV+. Recall that unbroken skin is an effective barrier against
antigen. HIV can only gain access to the bloodstream through an open sore or abrasion.
Health care workers can care for HIV+ patients every day for years without becoming
infected themselves. However, health care workers should take care to prevent
direct contact with any body fluids.