HIV Modes of Transmission

HIV can only be transmitted from an infected person to another through direct contact of bodily fluids such as:

  • Blood (including menstrual blood)
  • Semen / cum / precum / ejaculate
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Breast milk

Unprotected anal and vaginal intercourse are high-risk activities. In the penis, vagina and anus, HIV may enter through cuts and sores (many of which would be very small and hard to notice), or directly through the mucus membranes. Oral sex is considered a low risk practice, but it’s not completely risk-free. The virus can't survive well in the mouth (in semen, vaginal fluid or blood), so the risk of HIV transmission through the throat, gums, and oral membranes is lower than through vaginal or anal membranes. Mother to child transmission is now rare in the U.S. and other high-income countries because pregnant women who are HIV-positive are normally given medications to prevent the foetus from getting infected. However, it is possible for an HIV-infected mother to transmit HIV before or during birth or through breast milk.


  • Track 1-1 Sexual transmission
  • Track 2-2 Perinatal transmission
  • Track 3-3 Blood transmission

Related Conference of Infectious Diseases