HIV transmission

Roger Pebody

There are many psychological, interpersonal, economic and social factors that affect an individual’s vulnerability to HIV infection. However, HIV transmission is also always a biological event, and the information in these sections aims to clarify in which circumstances it is likely to occur.

The following sections confirm what most readers will already know – that the main modes of sexual HIV transmission are unprotected anal or vaginal sex, and that transmission may also take place when a condom breaks, through sharing sex toys, or from receptive fellatio. We sum up the scientific evidence for these facts, but the material aims to go beyond the headlines in order to clarify points of confusion, explore grey areas and disprove myths.

This information will help professionals and advocates who are advising people on how to reduce their risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV, while at the same time continuing to have a satisfying sex life. We sum up the evidence on the impact of effective antiretroviral therapy on the risk of HIV transmission, evaluate the risks of acquiring HIV during different types of oral sex, and describe how such diverse factors as vaginal washing, the recreational drug poppers and a sexually transmitted infection can affect the risk of HIV transmission.

HIV is not only passed on sexually, so clear overviews of HIV transmission from mother to child and during injecting drug use are also provided. Moreover, in order to clarify where the real risks of HIV transmission lie, we examine the evidence on other transmission routes, from the rare (such as transmission during medical procedures) to the impossible (from sharing household objects).

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.