How do people get HIV?
HIV can only be passed from person to person through body fluids, like blood, semen and vaginal fluid. The most common ways HIV is passed are:
- By having unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex with an infected person.
- By sharing needles and syringes for injecting drugs with an infected person.
- You may be at risk of getting HIV if you have any of the risk factors listed in the box below. Children born to infected mothers can also become infected during pregnancy.
Possible risk factors for HIV infection
You should be tested for HIV if you:
- Have had unprotected sex with many sex partners.
- Have a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
- Use illegal injected drugs.
- Had blood transfusions or received blood products before 1985.
- Have a sex partner with any of the above risk factors.