HIV Transmission Today

We have learned a lot about how HIV is transmitted. When AIDS first hit our community, no one knew why gay and bisexual men were becoming sick, or how it could be prevented. In the absence of knowledge, people came up with their own theories and prevention methods. Some of them turned out to be useless, and some of them ended up working.

Now that we have much more scientific evidence about HIV/AIDS, we can make decisions about our sex lives that are based on the real risk of HIV transmission, not fear or misinformation.

Here’s what we know today…

You can be infected with HIV if you do something that allows enough of the virus to get into your bloodstream from the body fluids of a person who is HIV-positive.

There are only five everyday body fluids that have enough HIV in them to infect someone:

  • blood
  • semen (cum and pre-cum
  • vaginal fluids (including menstrual fluids
  • breast milk
  • rectal fluids*

In order for transmission to occur, one of these fluids must come into contact with an entry point into the bloodstream in the HIV-negative person: a cut or abrasion on the skin, or the mucous membranes (internal lining) inside the body.

* What are rectal fluids and why have I never seen this before?
Rectal fluids are the fluids that cover the inside of the ass, and are the body’s natural form of anal lubrication. You may not have seen this listed before, because it’s only recently that research has demonstrated how HIV infection happens inside the ass.

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