Transmission Of

HIV is transmitted by the transfer of body fluids containing HIV or HIV-infected cells. The most common means of infection is sexual contact with an infected person. The second most common means is the use of syringes and hypodermic needles that have been contaminated with blood containing HIV. People who inject intravenous drugs and who share needles are at very high risk of infection. HIV can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her infant before or during birth or through breast-feeding.

HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, such as shaking hands. HIV is apparently not transmitted through the air, in water, on toilet seats, or through insect bites. The likelihood of infection through a blood transfusion is extremely low.

figure 47-12

A scientist studies blood samples as part of the search for a treatment or vaccine for HIV.

figure 47-12

A scientist studies blood samples as part of the search for a treatment or vaccine for HIV.

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