Misconceptions

How can you get HIV? HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the human immune system, weakening the body and making one more susceptible to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV can be transmitted by the blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk of an infected person. The most common means of infection occur through unprotected anal, vaginal, and oral sex, and through injection drug use with shared needles.

HIV can not be transmitted by:

  • Day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or closed-mouth kissing, using the same toilet seat, drinking fountain, dishes, sharing drinks or food, etc.
  • Mosquitoes or other bloodsucking insects. Insects cannot become infected by HIV, and thus, cannot transfer it.