People’s attitudes - fear of disease, stigmatizing and blaming others for the epidemic, discriminating against those they know or suspect to have HIV- make fertile ground for new cases of HIV. Knowing the facts can change these attitudes.
What is HIV and AIDS?
How do you get HIV? (Or not get HIV?)
HIV infection is passed mainly through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Therefore, the three main ways of getting infected with HIV are:
You CANNOT get infected with HIV from:
Casual everyday contact, shaking hands, hugging, kissing, coughs, sneezes, giving blood, swimming pools, toilet seats, sharing eating utensils, water fountains, mosquitoes, other insects, or animals.
Healthcare workers may be at risk of occupational exposure to HIV when they come in contact with HIV blood or contaminated body fluids.
The following body fluids are capable of transmitting HIV:
Blood, serum, plasma, body fluids visibly contaminated with blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluids, pleural, amniotic, pericardial, peritoneal, synovial and cerebrospinal fluids.
Significant exposures include any exposure of the above fluids from an HIV person to:
HIV CANNOT be transmitted by feces, nasal secretions, sputum, tears, urine, and vomit unless they contain visible blood!
The use of Standard Precautions by healthcare workers for all patients will prevent exposure and potential transmission of all infectious pathogens including HIV.